Mom’s Brisket by Michelle Bernstein

Mom’s Brisket by Michelle Bernstein


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“Well . . . I added the ketchup, but the rest is basically Mom’s. I’ve been eating this all my life, and it’s never once been dry or tough. The trick is, you cook it, cool it, slice it, and then reheat it in its own gravy when it’s time to eat. For a big group, it’s a dream come true.”

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Time needed

20 min preparation + 2 hour cooking

Serving Size / Yield

6-8 servings


  • Onion Sauce
  • 1⁄4 C. canola oil
  • 4 C. onions (about 2 large onions), thinly sliced
  • 2 C. carrots (about 2 medium carrots sliced 1⁄4 inch thick), sliced and peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 C. chicken or beef broth
  • 1 C. ketchup
  • 1⁄2 C. whole-grain mustard
  • 2 envelopes Lipton’s onion soup mix
  • 1⁄3 C. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1⁄4 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 brisket (preferably first cut), about 6 pounds, with a good amount of marbling
  • About 2 C. beef broth
  • 2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

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Preheat the oven to 400°F.

For the onion sauce: In a large sauté pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes longer. Season with the salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the 1 cup broth and mix well. Remove from the heat and whisk in the ketchup, mustard, onion soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce until fully incorporated.

For the brisket: Place the meat, fat side up, in a roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to accommodate it. Pour the onion sauce over the brisket and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to cook for 21⁄2 hours longer. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Remove the foil, spoon some of the sauce in the pan over the brisket, and return the pan to the oven, uncovered. Cook, basting the brisket every 10 minutes or so with the sauce, until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let the brisket cool to room temperature in the pan.

To serve: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Transfer the cooled brisket to a cutting board and slice it against the grain as thinly as possible. If the sauce is very thick, dilute it with as much of the 2 cups broth as needed to achieve the consistency of a thick gravy. Slip the meat slices into the sauce, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Reheat the brisket in the oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the meat slices to a warmed deep platter, spoon the sauce over the slices, and scatter the parsley over the top. Serve right away.


Recipe courtesy of The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook

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