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Wednesday, Sept. 20, marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. To most Jewish households in the New York area and around the nation, the arrival of the holiday signifies one thing come dinnertime: brisket.

No matter how you slice it, brisket is a tough cut of meat. That is why the best way to cook it is low and slow in a moist environment.

I developed the brisket recipe that follows about ten years ago and have never looked back. To ensure tenderness, I use both tomato paste (tomatoes are acidic) and beer, which contains alpha acids and tannins. Both are great at breaking down fiber.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes (recipe here).

Beer-Braised Brisket


  • 3-lb brisket
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 6 whole cloves garlic
  • Large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 c. dark beer
  • 1 c. beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 large bay leaf


  1. Trim any visible fat from brisket, leaving a very thin fat cap on top. Liberally salt and pepper.
  2. Sear, fat-side down, in hot pan in which oil has been heated. When thoroughly browned, turn and sear on second side. Immediately add garlic cloves and toss to coat with oil.
  3. Remove brisket and browned garlic. Pour accumulated fat into a small bowl. Return two tablespoons to the pan, discarding the rest.
  4. Cut garlic into slivers. Add slivers to pan along with chopped onion.
  5. Add tomato paste and briefly brown.
  6. Place brisket on top of onions and garlic. Add beer, stock, and bay leaf.
  7. Simmer covered for 3 hours, on top of the stove, turning brisket at midway point in cooking time. Periodically baste with cooking liquid.
  8. When a fork can be inserted easily into the meat, remove the brisket and keep warm.
  9. De-grease the braising liquid, using a gravy separator. Remove bay leaf, and return to pan.
  10. Cook over high heat till liquid is reduced to around 1/2 cup and is slightly thickened.
  11. Slice brisket and arrange on a serving platter. Pour sauce overall, and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: This dish doesn’t require a holiday or even that you be Jewish. Leftover brisket makes great sandwiches.

See also…

How to Make Perfect Garlic Mashed Potatoes