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Fig and pomegranate brisket

Tons of garlic and onions, white wine, and two types of figs (fresh and dried) and pomegranate (molasses and fresh seeds) come together for a finished brisket that is simultaneously homey and elegant. 



  • One 5-pound brisket with a good amount of fat
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced (6 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 4 dried figs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 6 fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F
  2. Arrange the brisket on a large plate and season it generously on all sides with one tablespoon of the salt and one teaspoon of the pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven until very hot but not smoking. Add the brisket (fattier side down, if there is one) and sear until deeply browned and crisped in parts, six to seven minutes. Carefully flip the brisket and roast for another six minutes; if they’re thick enough, sear each of the narrow sides, standing up the brisket, if possible, for three minutes per side. Remove to a plate, leaving any fat and juices in the pan.
  3. Add the onions and flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flour is absorbed, one minute, then add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, five minutes. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the wine reduces by half, four to five minutes. Add the broth, pomegranate molasses, dried figs, honey, vinegar, cumin, red pepper flakes, teaspoon salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and gently lower the brisket back into the roasting pan, spooning some of the sauce and onions over the brisket. Cover the brisket with a piece of parchment paper (this will prevent the acid in the sauce from interacting with the foil), seal the roasting pan tightly with foil, and cook in the oven until the brisket is tender, four hours to four hours 30 minutes. Remove the range, unseal slightly, then let the brisket come to room temperature for about one hour.
  5. If you have time, refrigerate the brisket overnight, uncover it and remove and discard the congealed fat. Remove the brisket from the sauce and slice it against the grain into quarter-inch-thick slices. Heat the sauce in the roasting pan or another pot over medium-high heat until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens to your liking, 10 to 15 minutes. Nestle the sliced brisket back in the sauce, cover with foil, and warm gently in a 200-degree F oven until everything is heated, 45 minutes to one hour.
  6. To serve, transfer the brisket and sauce to a platter, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh figs, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Enjoy!

TIP: If you can’t find fresh figs, garnish with more pomegranate seeds. 


From SHABBAT by Adeena Sussman, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright @ 2023 by Adeena Sussman. 

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