This recipe is adapted from my new book, “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Pomegranate molasses is available in specialty, Middle Eastern and kosher markets, and can also be ordered from online retailers.
Learn more about my new book here.
Pomegranate Molasses Brisket
- 1 4- to 5-pound beef brisket or boneless chuck roast
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup (¼-inch slices) carrots
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, cilantro and/or mint, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, optional
- Trim the brisket of excess external fat, leaving a ¼-inch cap on top and place it on a plate. In a small bowl, mix together ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, paprika and cumin and rub the mixture on all sides of the brisket.
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket on all sides until well browned, 5-7 minutes a side. If the piece of brisket is too big for the pan, cut the meat in half and sear it in batches. Transfer the brisket to the plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Add the onions and sauté, stirring up any browned bits from bottom of the pot, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, ½ cup pomegranate molasses, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, brown sugar and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir well, bring the mixture to a simmer and add the brisket, fat side up, along with any accumulated juices from the plate.
- Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil and lower the heat to medium-low to keep it at a simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours, basting with the liquid every 30 minutes and turning the meat in the liquid every 60 minutes. If the liquid begins to evaporate, add ½ cup water. Start testing for doneness at 3 hours. The brisket is ready when a dinner fork can slide through the meat without any resistance. Transfer the meat to a plate and let rest for at least 20 minutes before shredding or cutting it against the grain into ½-inch slices (at this point, I recommend chilling the uncut brisket and sauce separately overnight if you can, which will improve the flavor of the meat and make it easier to cut).
- Once the brisket is removed, add the lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon tomato paste and remaining 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses to the pot and stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by about half or until thick enough to use as a sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings by adding more salt, lemon juice and/or brown sugar, if desired. The sauce should be on the tangy side of sweet and sour. Keep the sauce warm to serve immediately with the brisket or chill it separately in an airtight container.
- If serving immediately, arrange the brisket on a platter, spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over the top and garnish with parsley and pomegranate seeds (if using). Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
- If reheating, skim the fat off the chilled sauce, if desired. Reheat the sauce in a large
- pot over medium heat. Once it’s simmering, add the chilled brisket and reheat, stirring gently. Serve as above.
- Brisket can be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. To freeze, shred or cut the cooled meat into thin slices against the grain and store in an airtight container with the sauce for up to three months.
Excerpted from “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen” by Faith Kramer. Reprinted with permission.