Festival of Lights, Night 4

I was going to make chicken for our Chanukah feast because what’s easier or more delicious than a simple roasted chicken?  But then, there I was at the Whole Foods Butcher counter and what did they have on sale but…brisket.  Of course.  The Whole Foods I go to always has a pretty good sense of what holidays are happening and stock their shelves accordingly.  Brisket is one of those foods I only make once a year and it’s usually for one of the holidays.  Otherwise, I’m just not that interested.  My mother’s friend, R., makes an excellent brisket and one of these days I’m going to need her recipe.  I have very vivid memories of spending one of the nights of Chanukah at her house each year, eating latkes, brisket and applesauce.  Until I remember to ask her for it, though, I’ll keep using my version of this Ina Garten recipe.



1 6-7 pound brisket (I usually go smaller since we won’t really eat that much brisket)

1-2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

3-4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

8 stalks of celery, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 can/jug of tomato juice (about 46 ounces)

2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 Tablespoons of salt

1 Tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves or so)- I’ve used dried garlic granules as well


Heat oven to 350 degrees

Place the brisket into a roasting pan.  Mix the spices together and then rub all over the brisket.  Pile the vegetables over the brisket.  I forgot both carrots and celery so I used an onion and some cherry tomatos I had that were thisclose to getting tossed- in other words, only good for sauce. I’ve found that no one really eats the veggies so each time I make this, I tend to use less and less.  The onions get really good though- sort of soft and tomato-y.

Pour the tomato juice over the whole thing.  I always use all of it but Ina gives specifics as to how much.  I say just use all of it.  Cover it- and this is important- with parchment paper and then aluminum foil.  The tomato juice will react with the foil if you don’t put the parchment in between them.  Bake for about 3 1/2 hours or until it’s tender.  Let it rest for about five or ten minutes before you slice it.  I often just pour the sauce and veggies over it before I serve it but you could also pour the sauce into a saucepan and put it on the stove to reduce a bit before you use it.  I never bother but I’m pretty sure Ina’s recipe has instructions for this. 

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