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Grassfed Beef Brisket with Onions & Leek Latkes Recipe

Food & Wine published this recipe in December 2000 as a Hanukkah-Christmas celebratory dish enjoyed year round. They suggest making it a day or two ahead, but it was delicious right out of the oven. I seasoned the grassfed brisket and refrigerated it overnight, which is great for making ahead of time. Excellent when served with leek latkes – recipe below!

Featured by Lauren Scott w/ the Houston Dinner Club - Learn more about Lauren and her content at the links below! 


  • 4-lb 1915 Farm Grassfed Brisket
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • ½ c. of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups dry vermouth or white wine (I used some of both)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped canned Italian tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. chopped garlic

In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Rub the seasonings on the brisket, being sure to get into the cracks and crevices.

In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the porcini mushrooms with hot water, set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole until shimmering. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until well-browned, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a platter and if necessary, pour off any excess fat from the casserole.

Add the vermouth and chicken stock, then pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the casserole and stir in the tomatoes, porcini, and bay leaves.

Return the brisket to the casserole, fat side up. Scatter the onions and garlic over the meat and into the liquid and bring to a boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes. Spoon the onions on top of the brisket and cook for about 30 minutes longer to brown the onions. Push some of the onions back into the liquid, cover and braise for about 1.5 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. (Note: Depending on the size of your brisket, the time required for the final cooking phase may vary. I checked mine every 30 minutes and spooned some of the liquid on top of the brisket.)

Transfer the brisket to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, until it is deeply flavored, then season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Carve the brisket across the grain into 3/8- inch thick slices and arrange on a large, warmed platter. Spoon the sauce and onions over the meat and serve.

I recommend paring this with an intense red, such as a very delicious 2017 Pedernales Texas Newsome Vineyard North Block. I also paired this dish with a twist on another Hanukkah favorite, leek latkes! See recipe below.

If you like food in Houston, you will like the Dinner Club. Monthly gatherings at different Houston eateries, plus a bit of everything in between.

Leek Latkes
This recipe was written by Zak the Baker and published by Bon Appetit. I pan-fried these, versus deep frying, but you are welcome to make yours either way. We served ours with sour cream!
Makes 8-12 latkes
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (8–12 oz.), scrubbed
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided; plus more
  • 2 large leeks (about 1½ lb.), white and pale green parts only, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
  • ¼ c. almond flour or meal
  • ¼ c. Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (I would suggest halving this if you aren't a fan of cumin, though the flavor pairs well with the brisket)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral high heat oil (for frying – about 1¼ cups)

Preheat oven to 250°. Place potato and 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium pot; pour in cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is fork-tender, 25–30 minutes total. Remove potato from pot; let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, return water in pot to a boil. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

Using your hands, remove skin from potato; discard. Coarsely chop flesh. Transfer to a food processor and add leeks; pulse until chunky and well combined (it shouldn’t be homogeneous and smooth). Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add almond flour, breadcrumbs, cumin, and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, season with pepper, and mix well.

If pan frying, pour 1-2 tbsp oil into a medium cast-iron skillet and heat over medium high heat. If deep frying, pour oil into a medium cast-iron skillet to come ¼ inch up the sides; heat over medium-high.

Working in batches of 3 or 4 and using a ¼-cup measure, scoop potato mixture into your hands and flatten into thin 3 inch diameter disks. (Mixture may feel soft, but it will hold together.)

Fry latkes, reducing heat if browning too quickly, until deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Keep warm in oven while you make remaining latkes. Serve with sour cream.

If you like food in Houston, you will like the Dinner Club. Monthly gatherings at different Houston eateries, plus a bit of everything in between.

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