Ashkenazi, Main courses, Rosh Hashana

Sweet and Sour Brisket

sweet and sour brisket

Sweet and sour brisket is a classic for Rosh Hashana. It’s savory, sweet, and a little tart, all at the same time. It also freezes well so you can make and slice in advance, and set it up in pans to pull out of your freezer, all ready to reheat on your hotplate.

I like to use a double brisket, as it has more fat and stays moist, even after lengthy braising. This recipe’s a winner. Try it, you’ll like it! Lovely served over mashed potatoes or noodles mixed with schmaltz, salt, pepper, garnished with a bit of chopped parsley for color.

Sweet and Sour Brisket

Yield: 12-16 servings


  • 24 ounces dark beer
  • 1 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 8-10-lb. double beef brisket
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large onions, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350° Combine beer, cranberry sauce, and ketchup in large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Pat brisket dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Sear brisket in the hot oil until brown, around 5 minutes per side. Remove brisket to a platter, set aside.
  3. Add sliced onions to pot and sauté until soft and brown, stirring frequently and scraping up brown bits from pan, around 8 minutes. Place brisket on top of onions. Pour sauce mixture on top of brisket, bring to a boil. Cover tightly and transfer to oven. Bake until tender, around 3 hours.
  4. Cool brisket at least 30 minutes before slicing. Slice brisket thinly, across the grain. Return meat to gravy.
  5. Can refrigerate overnight before slicing. Reheat over low heat and serve.

Notes: Brisket can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated for later reheating, or frozen in disposable pans, ready to thaw, reheat, and serve. Lovely served over noodles mixed with schmaltz, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley, or mashed potatoes.