“Jewish BBQ” Brisket

This one is my family’s go-to brisket recipe for the Jewish holidays. Some people say you can determine what old country shtetl (a tiny village) you descend from by the ingredients in your brisket recipe.

The onion soup shtetl? The wine shtetl? Or, like me, the chili sauce shtetl?

Of course, there was no chili sauce in old Russia, but it’s the sweet and sour play of vinegar and sugar that makes this sauce so special. And the best part? The schmutz (translated loosely from Yiddish as “dirt,” but in reality, all the good veggies and caramelized bits at the bottom of the
pan). It’s a simple recipe, but ideally, a three-day process of marinate, roast, and re-heat.

In a pinch, you can marinate in the morning and roast in the late afternoon, but there’s no hurrying perfection.

Serves: 8

  • 1 cup chili sauce (Heinz or Bennet’s preferred)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4-5 pound brisket, trimmed
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut in coins
  • 1 cup chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups V-8 juice

1. In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine chili sauce and vinegar. Mix in salt, brown sugar, and garlic. Set aside.

2. Place meat in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Pour marinade over the brisket. Top brisket with onions, carrots, and celery. Pour V-8 juice over meat, cover top of casserole with silver foil, and refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 325F. Place covered casserole in the oven and roast for 2 hours, basting every half hour with the marinade. Remove foil and cook for an additional hour, basting every twenty minutes so that veggies don’t dry out.

4. Remove brisket from oven, cool and refrigerate. Skim off congealed fat, slice meat thinly against the grain, and return to casserole and pan juices. Cover and reheat in 325F oven.

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