Simple Pot-Roasted Brisket

It can’t get much easier than this. Cover the bottom of a pan with sliced vegetables, top with a brisket, cover, place in the oven, and go get on with your life for the next six hours while you wait for it to slowly cook into a simple, yet flavorful, moist, tender roast.


Simple Pot-Roasted Brisket (serves about 6)


  • one 3-lb brisket
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb onion, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a thick, wide-bottomed dutch oven, braiser, saute pan, or roasting pan


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Cover all sides of the roast with the salt and pepper, rubbing it into the meat.
  3. If you want to brown the roast, do so now, but it’s not necessary if there’s enough fat (which will probably be the case if you have a more traditional 10-lb brisket).
    • If you do brown it, you should deglaze the pan with beef stock or red wine (I chose the latter) and, if not roasting the brisket in the same vessel in which you browned it, transfer those juices along with the meat so you don’t lose any of that flavor! Otherwise, what’s the point of browning, anyway? 🙂
  4. Rub the chopped garlic all over both sides of the meat and then set it aside.
  5. Cover the bottom of the pot with the onion, carrot, and celery.
  6. Place one bay leaf on top and then cover it with the roast, placing the second bay leaf atop that.
  7. Put either foil, the lid, or both on top of the pot/pan and set inside the oven.
  8. Cook for about 6 hours.
  9. Remove the brisket from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  10. To serve, slice thinly against the grain and top with the pan juices.
  11. If you prefer a thicker gravy, simply whisk a couple tablespoons of flour in equal parts water (or butter), until dissolved, and then whisk into the hot pan sauces, stirring until thickened (I don’t even bother removing the vegetables. It makes no difference!).
    • Don’t forget to taste your gravy and add any extra necessary seasonings, such as salt and pepper.

This roast is simple yet full of flavor. I’ll admit, though, my mind was stirring with what herbs would improve it further and I’m certain that, next time, I’ll be playing around to find my perfect version of this wonderful meal! Until then, I highly recommend you try out this recipe for an easy, relaxing autumn evening with a meal that looks as if you spent all night hard at work 🙂


I remember, for years, I was dying to try brisket. It just sounded so wonderfully delicious, but it didn’t seem like there were any place that served it! Finally, in college, I found a bar with a brisket sandwich and what a disappointment! It was loaded with barbecue sauce and wasn’t even that tender, which confused me because 1) I didn’t know it was normal to serve brisket with BBQ sauce and 2) I always heard it was amazingly tender, like fall-off-the-bone ribs. After that experience, it’s safe to say that I was afraid to try it again, especially if it were going to be the same type of meal.

Suddenly, everywhere I went there was some form of a BBQ brisket sandwich. No thank you! I don’t understand why nobody appears to serve it in the traditionally Jewish manner (as far as I’ve heard) without BBQ sauce! Is it not supposed to be good enough to stand on its own without a massive amount of sweet and tangy goo? For years, this is all I ever saw on menus. BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich. Until I went shopping for my wedding gown. Not only did the Heavens open up and allow me to find a dress immediately on my very first shopping trip, but it allowed me to happen into a deli where they actually served brisket without barbecue sauce. Hallelujah! Seriously, the first question I asked was, “Does this have BBQ sauce?” because I wouldn’t have ordered the sandwich if it did.

So, my sandwich came and there was zero disappointment. My dreams had returned! It was tender, moist, and fully flavorful without being bogged down by some mixture of ketchup and brown sugar. Since then, I’ve been determined to try my own hand at brisket, which I finally did tonight. Let me tell you, I was so nervous! For one, I was afraid it would turn out tough like so many other roasts I’ve attempted. But two, I was frightened of how to flavor it! So many recipes use ketchup and brown sugar, which, in my opinion, IS barbecue sauce! Those are the main ingredients in pretty much every one! There was no way I’d touch a recipe with the two of those. I did find others without BBQ-looking ingredients, but was still afraid because what if we didn’t end up liking the sauce, but it was all over my roast?

Luckily, I found a recipe that called for almost nothing at Interestingly, Arthur Schwartz (The Food Maven), claims that a brisket emits so much liquid on its own, adding any extra is completely unnecessary. And he would be right! Of course, to me, the purpose of any added liquid would be for flavor, but it’s good to know that it’s not important if you’re looking for a pure and simple pan gravy straight from the meat juices. So, I went with his recipe. For the exact original, check out Jewish-Style Pot-Roasted Brisket at Really, the big difference between mine and his is that I had a much smaller cut of meat, so reduced the ingredients by about a third and also reduced the temperature and increased the roasting time in order to ensure a tender result. I did make some Sweet Potato Latkes to have on the side, though, so you can find that recipe next 🙂


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