BEHOLD! The ULTIMATE Jewish dish – BRISKET!
Not only is the flavor beyond your wildest dreams in the most astounding sweet & savory sauce, it’s also SO EASY to make!
My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember and I’ve always drooled at the thought of any gathering where this is usually served – especially Passover and Rosh Hashanah. And now I am adapting it to be done in the best way possible – right in your Instant Pot!
Normally, it would go in the oven for about 2.5 hours – but the Instant Pot shaved off some of that time and it’s now even more tender than ever! A winner all around!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Let’s start with a good cut of brisket (Costco is a GREAT place to get this!)…
..and let’s slice it in half, against the grain.
Now let’s take some kosher salt and really rub it all onto the briskets on both sides…
…and then sear our briskets on both sides for a few minutes (you can do this in the stove or in your Instant Pot but I feel that the stove does a better job at searing a piece of meat this size).
When done, transfer the briskets to the instant pot with the trivet already in place.
Next, let’s cut up an onion…
…and lay it on top of our briskets and pour the rest inside the pot.
Make the TO-DIE-FOR sauce by whipping together a few special ingredients…
…and pour it over the onions and briskets. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, you will inhale one of the most wonderful aromas ever.
Carefully transfer the now tender briskets to a cutting board and let them cool for a few.
Back to the pot and to that marvelous sauce, add a cornstarch slurry, stir it up well…
….and let it simmer for a few moments until it slightly thickens.
Using a good, sharpened knife, slice the brisket against the grain (it’s okay if some of it breaks apart – it’s going to be wonderfully tender, after all!
And take a moment to admire this newfound prized possession (and only try sneaking a piece if Jeffrey isn’t looking).
Transfer the brisket back into the pot to marinate in the sauce and transfer to a serving dish…
…before serving it individually and eating 3 servings of it. Yup! It’s THAT good, folks! Mazel Tov!
Instant Pot Jewish Brisket
This spectacular brisket isn't like your typical BBQ-style. It is fork-tender in a sweet & sour sauce and is the centerpiece of many Jewish holidays. But food knows no religion so enjoy it under any roof, any time of year.
- 4-5 lb Beef Brisket (I find that Costco has excellent cuts!), cut in half so it fits in your Instant Pot. Leave the fat on for now.
- Kosher salt for rubbing into the brisket
- 3-4 yellow onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of ketchup
- 1 tsp crushed or minced garlic
- 3/4 cup of white vinegar
- 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp cornstarch + 2-3 tbsp water to form a slurry
- Take the brisket and cut it in half against the grain so it’s separated into two slices
- Rub each side of the brisket with Kosher salt so it’s coated
- Turn on the stove to high and in a large frying pan (or in your Instant Pot on “Sauté on the “More” or “High” setting – but the frying pan is easier for this due to size and even searing), let it get hot and then sear each side of the brisket until browned or slightly charred. About 2-4 minutes each side depending on your stove/pan. Just stand over it and check it to ensure you don’t overdo it too much. If you seared in your Instant Pot, remove the liner pot, rinse it clean, dry it and return it to the Instant Pot when done
- With the trivet in the Instant Pot, layer one half of the brisket (fat-side up) and cover with about half of the onions. Then, in a criss-cross fashion, layer the other half of the brisket (also fat-side up) on top of onions and other half of the brisket. We are leaving it fat-side up so the juices from the fat course through the meat when cooking to make it super moist and flavorful
- Make the sauce by combining the water, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and garlic
- Cover with all of the sauce and then add the remaining onions to the top of the brisket and the sides of the pot if there’s room
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 75 minutes if you want it SUPER tender (like shred apart, tender) or 65 minutes if you want it tender, but a little firmer
- When done, do a 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release
- Because they are going to be very tender, CAREFULLY transport the brisket halves to a carving board (again, fat-side up) and let them COOL for a solid 30 minutes. If you decide to carve it up into strips right away before it’s done cooling, it will shred apart – which is fine, but some people really like those long strips of brisket. What you CAN do now is easily shave off the undesired fat and discard (or keep it on if you like it)
- Meanwhile, as the brisket’s cooling, make your cornstarch slurry and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” and Adjust to the “High” or “More” setting and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the slurry to the boiling sauce and stir it in good. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes and then turn the pot to the “Keep Warm” setting. The sauce will thicken up some as the brisket cools
- Once the brisket is cooled down and easier to slice up, using a GOOD, sharp carving knife slice the brisket AGAINST the grain (meaning the opposite direction that the strings of meat are going in). Cut into strips or chunks. However you want it!
- If the meat appears dry, don’t be fooled! We are going to take our sliced meat and carefully add it BACK to the Instant Pot and marinate in that delicious sauce for a few minutes (still on the “Keep Warm” setting). Let it sit in there for a good 5-10 minutes or so.
- Place the brisket in a serving bowl and cover with the sauce.
If using a brisket that’s 2-3 lbs, reduce the cook time to 55-60 minutes!
Because brisket tastes EVEN BETTER the next day (if that’s even possible), I suggest you make this the day or night before you serve it and then once sliced, transfer to an aluminum pan and let it sit soaked in the sauce in the fridge covered with tin foil. Then, when ready to serve reheat in the oven for about 30 minutes or so at 350 degrees. It also freezes well too!
If making the brisket in an oven (the old-school way) and NOT an Instant Pot:
- Bring a dry frying pan to high heat on the stove. Place the brisket in the hot pan and sear (about 3-5 mins) then turn over and do the same thing to other side. (If you have a huge piece of brisket that doesn’t fit the frying pan, you can slice it in half and do this in batches)
- Transfer the seared brisket in disposable baking tin tray or casserole dish.
- Cover brisket with the onions, filling in the space around it with any remaining onions.
- Mix the vinegar, ketchup, water, brown sugar and garlic in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture over meat and onions.
- Cover the baking tin or casserole dish tightly with double layers of foil. Put the baking tin on a cookie sheet to catch drippings (plus it will be easier to remove when done).
- Bake on 375° for 2 1/2 hours the day before you want to serve this dish. You can even do this 2 days before.
- When done, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes and then slice the meat against the grain. Return the meat to the baking dish to be covered in the juices and re-cover with double layers of foil.
- Refrigerate overnight. But feel free to also snack on a piece before you do. It’ll be mouth-watering.
- On the day of serving, bake, covered with foil, on 350° another 1 – 1 1/2 hours and serve.
I have an easy recipe for brisket with cranberry sauce and onion soup mix. Wondering if you have to sear the meat as I wouldn’t do that anyhow. Do you think I could make it with the same sauce and all??
I don’t see why not. But try this recipe first as a guide and you’ll probably not want to make it any other way again 😉
What would be a good side for this?? I really want to make it tonight for dinner.
Cauliflower Mash is our go-to. That sauce is delicious over the top of the mash!
I had never even had brisket before I saw this recipe but it looks so good that I had to try it. It is absolutely delicious.
Please do and let me know what you think!
Laura A Kimble
What can I use in place of ketchup?
Unfortunately, nothing. The ketchup is a major factor for this brisket tasting how it does! You can always try sugar-free steak sauce but it definitely will not be the same result.
I use Chili Sauce (Heinz brand) and it gives it an awesome taste. Also, is there much difference between using light or dark brown sugar?
Instead of ketchup, I used Heinz Chili Sauce because the horseradish in the chili sauce gives it a bit more flavor.
Can I add carrots? I love carrots with brisket.
Sure! But wrapping them in foil will ensure they don’t turn to mush. If unprotected they will become that way if pressure cooked as long as the brisket.
How much time would you put for a 6lb brisket in the instapot?
Any suggestions as to how to use up the leftover sauce.
Over rice, on noodles, on veggies or chicken! Possibilities are endless 😉
Soak it up with a bun
I would simply serve this dish over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes… that generally entices folks to use more sauce so there’s not much (if any) left over.
Thanks you Jeffrey for your quick reply.
Do you use white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar?
I made it and we ate it the next day. I served it over home-made fettuccini. My husband ate a big plate and went for seconds. There is no greater compliment than that. That brisket was the best I’ve ever had!
I was going to make this today for the game tomorrow. Can you shred it and have it on buns like bbq?
Why not. I think you can shred any tender meat and put it on a bun
I’m almost afraid to ask, but is there any way I can leave the sugar out and have this still be delicious?
I was given a large amount of mushrooms. Besides your wonderful soups and stews. Could I also cook them I need with the brisket? Loose with the onions or in aluminum foil like the carrots?
If I use a 2-3 lb brisket do I half the amounts of the rest of the ingredients?
Definitely halve other ingredients! Even just 2 onions was too much for a 2-lb cut of meat. I was a bit worried, but it didn’t burn.
So we did this (first time having brisket). The flavor was delicious!! But the top piece in the IP came out pretty tough. We had the fat side up, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Any ideas? I’d love to make this work because the flavor was THAT good (even when using no sugar ketchup & a low carb brown sugar sub)!
Adrienne Royes (Shapiro)
I lost my mother last summer. She had tried for years to make a good brisket and finally gave up, declaring she didn’t like brisket. I made your recipe today , my Mom would have loved it. My only change? Actually an addition
I had to have some prepared horseradish for dipping, went well with your save.
Thank you Jeffrey
I have made this recipe 2-3 times now, and I’m planning on making it again for Passover this weekend. My husband is Jewish, and he has claimed this is the best brisket he’s ever had. Every time I tell him I’m going to switch it up and try a different recipe, he tells me there’s no need and to just make this one again!
I love that the recipe is so simple, yet yields such a delicious dish!
I like to make it a day or two ahead of time and reheat in the oven the day I plan on serving it. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe.
Made this in the oven today rather than my pressure cooker and the aroma in the house was heavenly as it was cooking all afternoon. It was delicious!! Thank you Jeffrey!
Good Morning 🙂
At Costco is the brisket usually around 4-5 pounds? Or do you have to buy a large cut? I want to make this for Easter (yes a Jewish Passover meal for Easter lol) and plan on going to Costco on Saturday.
I made this recipe this weekend. I followed the directions for the smaller brisket. I cooked it for 60 minutes and it was tough. Tasted good and the sauce was good but the meat wasn’t tender. Any idea what I did wrong?
Did you use a “double” or decker cut brisket, or the leaner single brisket? 40 years of briskets and I only once made the mistake of using the single.
Help? I’m unfamiliar with those terms. I’ve always asked for first cut. What should I look for in labeling or ask the butcher for? Thanks!
Generally go for a flat cut.
This tasted just like my grandmothers recipe with I always adored. Good job!
Thank you so much Jeffery! This was the best brisket! My wife has given it her seal of approval and told me I need to keep this recipe. I agree. So good.
Made this according to recipe and it’s awesome! Boyfriend had several helpings and said better than the Texas brisket he makes! Thanks! Will definitely make again! So easy!!
Unfortunately I’ve cut my brisket into smaller portions for 2-person meals. How would you adapt this for a 1 lb 9 oz brisket? I hesitate to just 1/3 the recipe. Maybe add some carrots to bring weight to 2 lbs and half the recipe?
How many people will this feed as I’m cooking for 4 adults and 3 kids?
For the white vinegar, is it just plain distilled vinegar?
What kind of vinegar do we use? Also, I know this might be a dumb question but I’m unfamiliar with the term. What is a slurry?? Thanks in advance!! Can’t wait to make this!!
In this context, it’s a mixture of a starch in a bit of a liquid (so the starch is dissolved and not lumpy) that is added to your main liquid to thicken it. The most commonly used slurry is probably cornstarch and a little water (cold water helps it not lump).
Should I double the recipe for a 9lb brisket? Add more time in the IP as well?
Our grocery has a corned beef brisket (flat cut) — will that work? It’s brined, but the flavor packet is simply “included” (I’d throw that out). Can that work instead of the kosher salt? Or could I soak it for an hour or two to remove some of the salt and then use it for this? (They don’t have regular brisket)
Love this, but with cornstarch, it’s not kosher for Passover. Can I substitute potato starch for the cornstarch?
Sure can! Or arrowroot powder.
Why store in aluminum pan after slicing to serve the next day? I usually put mine with the defatted juice into a casserole dish like Le Creuset or Pottery Barn.
This is the best brisket recipe in the world! Thank you so much! How long to cook the brisket for if it is larger than 5-6lbs it’s almost 8?
Hey Jeffrey, regarding the brisket recipe, do you use light or dark brown sugar and whst IS the difference, please? And thanks for so much info about the pots and many recipes throughout the years.
Question about freezing and reheating. I’ve made this recipe for the past several years and it’s amazing! Thank you for sharing. I’m making it again this year for Passover swapping out for arrowroot powder. I would like to get ahead on my cooking. What’s best reheating method? Or if I make it over the weekend, will it keep in the fridge for 4 days safely?
This is a staple meal in our home! First meal is served with mashed potatoes. After that my husband loves the juice & meat served over egg noodles. Its one of his favorite meals!! Thanks Jeffrey – your menus are a hit at our house.
Linda & Kevin
Can This be done in a crockpot?
Hi Jeffrey. I literally have 9 different kinds of vinegar in the house but not plain white distilled. Can I use another kind? I have rice vinegar which looks and smells about the same. Would that work? Thanks! We love everything we’ve tried!
Sure! Use apple cider vinegar!
If you cook this in the oven do you still add a slurry to the sauce at some point?
I made this brisket yesterday, and although it was very tender, the sauce was almost tasteless. I am trying to figure out what went wrong. I followed everything to the letter. Does white vinegar have a shelf life? Mine was a couple of years ago.
Oh no! Something had to go wrong but I can’t say as I wasn’t there when you made it. With generous amounts of ketchup and brown sugar also added to the vinegar and water, this sauce is anything but tasteless.