This a holiday dish that is so versatile, if you find that your oven space is at a premium, this brisket does just as well cooked in a large crockpot as it would in the oven, freeing up valuable space when you need it most!
This succulent brisket recipe shines with the sweet and tart flavours of pomegranate, one of the symbolic foods known as Simanim (meaning signs or symbols) which are eaten at Rosh Hashana The pomegranate represents our desire that we should be blessed with a year filled with as many merits as there are seeds.
- 2-2.5 kilo (4.5 -5.5 pounds) fresh beef brisket – bring to room temperature before cooking
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 30g (¼ cup) plain flour
- 470ml (2 cups) pomegranate juice
- 350ml (1 ½ cup) chicken broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- If possible salt your beef (1 teaspoon kosher salt to each 450g (1 pound) beef) the day or even two days before you plan on cooking it and place it in the fridge. Bring the beef to room temperature (this may take several hours) before you start cooking. Regardless of when you start – salt the beef is step one.
- If using the oven, preheat to 160℃ (150℃ Fan / 320℉).
- Heat a very large skillet or sauté pan, until very hot, add oil and heat until shimmering. Add the beef and brown well on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Remove the browned brisket to a large roasting tin or the large crock of a crockpot.
- Ensure that there are about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan, you may need to add more vegetable oil or drain some fat depending on how fatty the brisket was.
- Add onions to the now-empty sauté pan and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have started to soften and break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, and cayenne. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are evenly coated and flour begins to stick to the pan, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in pomegranate juice, broth, and bay leaves, scraping up any browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Add the onion broth to the brisket in either the roasting tin or the crockpot.
- Cover pan tightly with aluminium foil, transfer to oven, and cook 3.5 – 4 hours, until a fork inserted in the brisket pulls out with no resistance.
- Remove from the oven and, once cool enough, transfer the meat to a carving board and slice against the grain, into slices 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a wide serving platter.
- Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and pour over brisket. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and coriander and serve.
To make ahead
Cover and refrigerate sauce and roasts separately for up to 2 days. To serve, slice each roast against grain 1/4 inch thick and transfer to 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Heat sauce in small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Pour sauce over brisket, cover dish with aluminium foil, and cook in oven at 160℃ (150℃ Fan / 320℉), until meat is heated through, about 20 minutes.