Ashkenazi, Main courses, Rosh Hashana

Classic Brisket to Freeze

slicing brisket

With Rosh Hashana around the corner, canny chefs prepare dishes that can freeze to relieve some of the pressure of cooking for so many festive meals for so many people. Meat freezes very well, so it’s a good choice for this purpose. And while some people like fancy shmancy food at the holidays, others are happy to greet classic favorites like this brisket, which never gets old.

Classic Jewish Brisket


  • Double brisket
  • Oil
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Whole peppercorns
  • 1-2 Bay leaf
  • 2-3 onions
  • Salt
  • Sweet paprika
  • (potatoes, carrots)


  1. With sharp paring knife, make slits in meat. Slide a garlic slice and a peppercorn into each slit. Make at least 13 seasoned slits.
  2. Brown meat with oil or schmaltz in a wide skillet until nicely browned on all sides. Remove brisket to platter.
  3. Brown onions in skillet, adding oil or schmaltz if necessary.
  4. Place browned onions in roasting pan. Add bay leaves. Place meat on top of bay leaves. Sprinkle with salt and paprika.
  5. Add about a cup of water to pan. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake brisket at 180° 2-3 hours or until fork goes in easily. Add water if necessary to keep from drying out.
  6. (Can add peeled potatoes, small or halved or quartered, depending on size, and carrots cut into two lengthwise then into 3” lengths crosswise, during last hour or so. Sprinkle the potatoes with paprika and turn them halfway through cooking time, sprinkling with paprika to brown other side.)
  7. Slice brisket thin, against the grain, removing peppercorns with the tip of a small knife.
  8. Reheat sliced sliced brisket in gravy. (Nice served with kasha varnishkes, with or without sautéed mushrooms)


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