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There's no, no cookin' like slow, slow cookin'


From the Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes book by Laura Frankel

Rubbed Brisket

Makes 10 servings

Brisket is so traditional—how can you improve upon it? My friend Julia makes brisket rubbed with spices, wrapped in foil, and slowly cooked in the oven. She swears that the spice-infused meat stays plump and juicy and keeps its hearty texture. Inspired by her technique, I decided to adapt her method for the slow cooker.

Boy, was she right! The fat melts into the meat and drips off. The bed of vegetables keeps the meat from sitting in the fat, and the flavors of the rub penetrate the meat and give it a pungent, lip-smacking flavor. To really put this over the tops, I cut the cooked brisket into large chunks, toss it with my Root Beer BBQ Sauce, pile it on crusty rolls, and top it with Creamy Coleslaw. So messy and so good.

The brisket can be made three days ahead of serving and stored, covered, in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one month. To reheat, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the brisket and strained drippings or barbecue sauce in a casserole and cover. Reheat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons Ancho Chile Power

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon pimenton, preferably hot

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground anise seed

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/4 cup light brown sugar

One 5-lb. First-cut brisket

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

2 large Spanish onions, diced

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 head of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half horizontally


Preheat a 6 1/2 quart slow cooker to Low. Combine the dry mustard, thyme, ancho chile powder, coriander, pimenton, cumin, anise, ginger, and brown sugar in a small bowl.

Salt and pepper the brisket on both sides. Rub the brisket with a little olive oil. Generously coat the brisket on both sides with the rub.

Place the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in slow cooker. Lay the brisket, fat side up, on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours.

Transfer the brisket to a cutting board or platter, cover loosely, and let it cool completely before slicing.

Strain the drippings through a fine-mesh strainer into the storage container. Discard the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate until the fat rises to the top and hardens. Remove and discard the fat. The broth can be served, heated, as a sauce with the sliced brisket. Serve with Root Beer BBQ Sauce, if you like.

Note: Pimenton is a Spanish smoked paprika. It is really not comparable to the paprika found in most grocery stores. It may be sweet or hot, and has a wonderful smokiness essential to paella, chorizo, and other Spanish delicacies. Pimenton can be found readily online or at specialty markets.

Root Beer BBQ Sauce

Makes 3 cups


2 cups root beer (don’t use diet root beer)

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup bourbon or apple cider

1/2 cup crumbled gingersnaps (about 8 small cookies)

1-1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon light molasses

1/2 teaspoon minced lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 garlic cloves, grated with a Microplane

1 medium onion, grated with a Microplane or on the fine side of a box grater

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Serve or store.


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