Classic Beef Brisket

8 servings
3 hr 50 min

I love this easy, do-ahead, hands-off classic beef brisket!

brisket with brussels salad on a ceramic plate with vintage silverware

do you “save” certain recipes for special occasions?

I don’t know about you, but there are some dishes that I only seem to make on specific occasions. Obviously dishes like latkes, soda bread and matzoh ball soup are associated with certain holidays. And I’ve definitely loosened up over the years, with crowd pleasers like my flourless chocolate roulade, which I historically only made for Passover.

But for years I seemed to only turn to brisket on Rosh Hashanah. And I don’t know why, because it is truly the perfect cold weather, serves-a-crowd, easy peasy dish!

brisket is my new go-to for a cozy dish that’s do-ahead and hands off!

I’ve shared my love for cold weather cooking before. And this classic beef brisket recipe is now in regular rotation, for a few reasons:

  • It can be made well in advance – if I’m making brisket I’m probably serving it for a larger dinner. Knowing I can get this made and tucked into the freezer weeks in advance gives me a great head start.
  • It serves a crowd – I tend to stress when it comes to serving a group of 8 or more. Brisket is one of those dishes that can easily be scaled up with a larger cut, yet requires no additional work.
  • It is almost completely hands off – I used to make a braised brisket recipe, which involved searing the meat before cooking. I thought this was essential to providing the flavor I would expect. But when I tried this version from my friend Nancy, I was shocked at how flavorful the meat was, with no searing or even a dry rub. The ingredients go into the roasting pan raw, and cook for several hours, simply adding a few additional ingredients along the way.
  • It is DELICIOUS – seriously, everyone who has this brisket absolutely loves it. It’s tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time.
sliced brisket in a roasting pan

what is brisket anyway?

This is a question that I always had, because I used to confuse brisket with pot roast.

Brisket refers to a cut of beef that comes from the chest and is typically cut in half crosswise. The flatter half is called the first cut or flat cut, and that’s what’s typically found at the market. The second cut is called the point, and is thicker and has more fat.

So brisket refers to the actual cut of meat. Pot roast refers to a beef dish made from chuck steak, chuck roast cut, or yes, even brisket.

what ingredients do you need?

You won’t believe how an ingredient list this short delivers so much goodness:


salt and pepper

garlic powder



chili sauce


how do you make classic beef brisket?

Brisket typically has about a one-inch layer of fat, called the fat cap. All you need to keep the meat from drying out is a one-quarter inch layer, and you can trim the brisket prior to cooking or skim the fat after refrigerating the cooked beef (I tend do do the latter).

Start by placing the brisket in a pan just large enough to hold it. Season generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder and top with your celery and onions.

brisket with onions and celery in a roasting pan

Cook in a high heat over for 40 minutes, then pour the chili sauce over, along with some water.

brisket topped with chili sauce in a roasting pan

Cover, reduce the heat and continue cooking before adding the beer and cooking some more.

brisket in a roasting pan

Let it cool, then refrigerate overnight – this will make it easier to slice. Slice it up, put it back into the pan and freeze if you’re not serving right away. Defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the oven before serving.

brisket in a roasting pan

what do you serve with the brisket?

This dish works beautifully with vegetables that are simply roasted with some olive oil, salt and black pepper. I also like to include a bright and crunchy salad, and maybe some garlic knots to soak up the gravy. Other fave sides are delicata squash, esquites and farro salad.

Let me know if you try it!

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Posted in dinner irl, recipes, wheat-free

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 210 Minutes Total time: 3 hr 50 min
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  • 1 st cut brisket
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 - 2 onions, sliced
  • 12- ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 1 bottle beer

The day before serving pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan large enough to hold the brisket snugly with foil.
Remove all but 1/4″ fat from the brisket (you can skip this and skim the fat after refrigerating but before slicing) and place, fat side up, in the pan. Season generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Top with the onions and celery.
Roast, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Pour the chili sauce over. Fill the empty bottle one-third with water, shake well and pour over the meat and vegetables. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, cover the pan and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Pour the beer over and cook, covered, for 40 minutes more. Let cool completely and refrigerate overnight.
Slice the brisket and put back into the sauce, spooning the sauce in between and over the slices. At this point you can freeze for later - defrost in the fridge the night before serving.
Re-heat covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (increase time to 45 - 60 minutes if the brisket was frozen), basting occasionally.
Sheri silver
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