March 15, 2021 by Andrea Brown (DailyRaven)

Kitchen Garden: Grandma’s Kosher Brisket with Root Vegetables

Grandma Joan always made brisket, also called a pot roast, for every occasion. Someone sick? Brisket. Someone got engaged? Brisket. Got an ‘A’ on an exam? Brisket. Fell off your bike? Brisket. Needless to say, it’s a staple comfort food in my extended family.

My uncle owned our family bakery, at which we all worked. Grandma would open, I would close. She would often bring my brisket in the morning with her and leave it in the walk-in for me to take home for dinner. She’d always call later that evening to ask how it was. On more than one occasion I received an evening phone call from grandma asking how the brisket was and I’d say, “what brisket?” She’d say, “the brisket I left for you today in the walk-in.” I’d have to break the news to her that there wasn’t a brisket in the walk-in when I got to the bakery. She’d call my cousins asking if any of them ‘accidentally’ took home the brisket when they left. Nope, every single time, it was my uncle who would Bogart the brisket. It’s now the running family joke for the last 20 years that you can’t trust Dennis with a brisket.

The brisket and vegetables all tucked in and ready to go in the oven.
Photo by Andrea Brown.

Grandma’s Kosher Brisket/Pot Roast Recipe


  • 3-4 lbs beef brisket. Point, flat, or combo will work. Trim to less than 1/4" fat cap (chuck or rib roast also work well and don’t need to be trimmed as much)

  • 1-2 bags baby carrots

  • 2 large onions roughly cut in 8ths

  • 4 large celery stalks roughly chopped in quarters, give or take

  • 2 large parsnips washed, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 6 large garlic cloves peeled and whacked with a skillet to kind of smoosh them

  • 1 package French onion soup mix (Lipton/Knorr kosher)

  • 1-2 large bay leaf

  • 1 cans of beer (cheap stuff works best)

  • 1 jar Heinz kosher cocktail sauce

  • Fresh rosemary and thyme if you have it. If not, 2 tsp dried of each.


Preheat oven to 250°F. Dump all vegetables in a heavy, oven-safe stock pot. Put meat on top of vegetables. Put garlic directly on top of meat, along with the other herbs and spices. Pour cocktail sauce on top of meat. Pour in the beer to the bottom of the pan. Put on a heavy fitting lid. If the lid doesn’t sit fairly tight, cover the top of the pot with a piece of foil, then put the lid on. Bake 4-6ish hours or until fork tender. If your meat was room temp, it will be on the shorter end of the range. If the meat was cold from the fridge, it might take longer than 6 hours. Internal temp should be 205-210°F. Carefully remove meat from the pot and let sit on a cutting board wrapped with a double layer of foil for 30 minutes before slicing on the bias (diagonally against the grain) so it will be the most tender*. Remove bay leaf before serving veg/gravy. Serve over rice, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, or noodles.

(*) Note: Cutting on the bias helps tough hunks of meat because it shortens the grain and makes every bite come apart more easily.

The finished brisket and vegetables served with mashed potatoes. The sauce has been thickened with flour on the stovetop.
Photo by Andrea Brown.