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Hungarian Brisket

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Yield Makes 6 servings
Judi says it would not be Hanukkah without a traditional brisket. This is an excellent make-ahead dish that gives you more time with guests when they arrive.


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 large Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) beef brisket, cut in half
  • 1 (.38-ounce) extra-large beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions. Cook, stirring often, 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized. Stir in 1 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove onions from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving oil in pan.

  2. Sprinkle flour, paprika, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each garlic salt and pepper on all sides of brisket. Heat reserved oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear brisket 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

  3. Combine beef bouillon cube and 1/2 cup water, stirring until bouillon is dissolved. Pour over brisket halves. Add onions and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours.

  4. Remove brisket from Dutch oven, and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet or platter. Place another baking sheet on top of brisket; place a heavy skillet or large cans on top of baking sheet. (Weighing down the cooked brisket improves texture and makes slicing easier the next day.) Refrigerate brisket overnight. In a separate container, cover and refrigerate onions and pan juices.

  5. Skim fat from onion-tomato mixture; discard fat. Heat mixture in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Slice brisket across grain into thin slices. Add brisket to pan, and cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

  6. Note: The grain in brisket often changes while slicing, so continually reposition the brisket and slice against the grain.