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Pomegranate Braised Brisket

September 20, 2016
Photo Credit: Margot Foster

By Tracey Seaman

When cooking any roast, use a heavy pot, such as a 4-quart oval or 5-quart round, enameled cast-iron casserole. Brown the meat well and slowly on medium-low heat before roasting to seal in juices and get a crispy skin. You can use bottled pomegranate juice or pomegranate-blueberry juice to make this pot roast with a sauce that is thickened only with tender onions, which melt in the juices as the beef simmers.

Pomegranate Braised Brisket




1h 00 min


2h 00 min


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 first cut brisket (preferably grass-fed), about 2 pounds

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound yellow onions (2 to 3 medium), thinly sliced

Several thyme sprigs, tied in a bundle with string

1½ cups pomegranate juice

2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 box (6 ounces) pearl couscous

Fresh pomegranate seeds, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Meanwhile, heat a 4 to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil; pat the beef dry and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the brisket to the pot and cook until browned on the underside, about 7 minutes. Turn and cook 7 minutes more.

Transfer the brisket to the plate. Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pot, along with the onions and cook, stirring two or three times over medium heat, until onions are beginning to brown along the edges, about 8 minutes.

Return the brisket to the pot, nestling the meat and thyme bundle into the onions. Pour in the pomegranate juice (It should barely cover the meat), and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with the lid and transfer to the oven. Braise the brisket for about 1½ hours, until barely fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a plate and let cool; let the onion gravy cool for 10 minutes, then puree in a blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

When the brisket is cool, slice it 1/2 inch thick and arrange overlapping in a shallow baking dish. Reserve 1 cup of gravy in a bowl, cover and refrigerate, and spoon the remaining sauce over the brisket in the dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate. (You can prepare the brisket to this point up to 2 days ahead.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Reheat the brisket, covered, until bubbly and heated through, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to package directions.

Heat the remaining sauce in a microwave or small saucepan and pass along side. Serve with couscous and fresh pomegranate seeds.

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