Brisket just may be the most quintessential holiday dish we serve on Jewish occasions. And Passover is definitely one of those occasions. But instead of using the same traditional recipe, try dressing it up this year with tzimmes. In case you’re not familiar, tzimmes is a beautiful, slow-cooked collage of carrots, sweet potatoes, prunes and honey. Some people make it with flanken or short ribs.

My Passover brisket recipe will give you an entire entrée, including meat, vegetables and potatoes. It’s almost like the ease of a stew or tagine. Speaking of tagine, on my trips to Israel the hotels served amazing brisket dishes on Shabbat. There was so much gorgeous food everywhere! The chef was out front, slicing brisket and corned beef. Groups of travelers gathered in the dining room and sang blessings before and after everyone ate. It’s a memory that lives deep within me. This recipe calls for dates, which are also popular in Israel. On my trips I saw plenty of date palm trees and bought date honey to enjoy at home. Israel is, after all, the land of milk and (date) honey!

I hope this recipe becomes a time-honored tradition in your home. Once everything is assembled, the oven does all the work. And if you have leftovers, you can make an open-faced matzo brisket plate, letting the juicy sauce sink into the matzo. Enjoy!

brisket 3
(Photo: Marjorie Druker)

Holiday Tzimmes Brisket


  • 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon or onion soup mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Hungarian paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5-6 pound flat-cut brisket
  • 2 cups cipollini onions, peeled and whole
  • 1 cup shallots, peeled and whole
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds
  • ½ cup prunes
  • ½ cup Turkish apricots
  • ½ cup dates
  • ½ cup barberries (can be substituted with dried cherries or raisins)
  • 1 39-ounce bottle bloody mary mix (pick your favorite)
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup black cherry juice (can be substituted with wine)
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses


  1. Take two very large disposable tins and double them up to create more sturdiness.
  2. Drizzle both sides of the brisket with olive oil. Paint with the Kitchen Bouquet and then liberally sprinkle the bouillon or soup mix, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper on both sides. Place in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes.
  3. When the brisket has browned after 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees.
  4. Add the onions (tuck them in), carrots, sweet potatoes and shallots all around the brisket. Place the dried fruits all over the brisket and vegetables. Pour the bloody mary mix over everything. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes on top. Pour the cherry juice or wine in the pan. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the brisket.
  5. Cover tightly and bake at 325 degrees for 4.5 hours.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Can be made and eaten the same day.