Beer-Braised Holiday Brisket With Prunes Over Creamy Grits

By Danielle Oron | December 03, 2015
On any given Jewish holiday, boring brisket is on the menu. Jews don’t feel like it’s an actual holiday without it. But why does it have to be the same every single time? I’m over the basic brisket that’s sliced and swimming in a flatly flavored sauce that barely sticks to the meat. Oh . . . and the carrots. No one wants those mushy carrots. I’m sorry if I have offended anyone’s brisket. But if you have taken a stand on this issue and said, “No more boring brisket this Rosh Hashanah!” welcome to the club. Also, grits.


  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil
  • 3 lb (1.3 kg) beef brisket
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tbsp (4 g) paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 (12-oz [355-ml]) bottles of Goldstar beer or other amber lager such as Brooklyn Lager
  • ½ cup (88 g) pitted prunes
  • 1 cup (190 g) stone-ground white grits
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ (360 ml) heavy cream (35%–40%)
  • 2 ½ cups (600 ml) water
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter


Makes 6 Servings

Preheat the oven to 325 ̊F (160 ̊C).

Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Generously season the brisket with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the brisket for 5–6  minutes on each side. Transfer the brisket to a plate and add the onions to the pot. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until they have softened and picked up some color. Stir  in the garlic, paprika and turmeric. Cook for another minute to release the flavors. Deglaze with 1 of the bottles of beer, scraping the bottom of the pot to release  any flavor bits. Return the brisket to the pot with any accumulated juices. Top with the second bottle of beer and bring to a boil. The brisket doesn’t need to be fully submerged. Add in the prunes.

Place in the lower third of the oven to braise for 3 hours, turning the brisket halfway through. Let cool slightly.

To make the grits, combine the grits, salt, heavy cream, water and butter in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes (depends on the brand), stirring often. Keep covered until you’re ready to plate. If it becomes too thick, thin the grits with a bit of heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.

Carefully transfer the brisket to a plate and cover with tinfoil. Strain the sauce, reserving the onions and prunes to top the brisket. Skim off as much as possible of the fat that has accumulated at the surface of the sauce with a spoon and discard.

Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and reduce to intensify the flavors. This will be more like an au jus, so do not reduce it until it is a syrup.

Plate this family style on a large cutting board. Place the grits on the board and then the brisket. Top the brisket with the onions and prunes. Drizzle a generous amount of sauce over the brisket and serve the extra sauce on the side. Slice into the brisket against the grain.

Excerpted from Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics By Danielle Oron. Page Street Publishing, October 2015.

  • beer-braised brisket