HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >



Making a brisket in a couple of days and can't use my standard recipe - one of the guests can't eat anything cooked with red wine. Has anyone tried Emeril's brisket recipe from FN? Or have a great recipe that doesn't use red wine?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I use Alton Brown's "Who loves ya babyback" recipe on brisket and pretty much any other sturdy meat that would stand up to braising. I substitute thinned applesauce for the white wine because I can't have alcohol for health reasons.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Morganna

      I smoke my brisket out in my smoker. But, my brother cooks it the 2nd best way that I've ever tasted it. He cooks it in one of those clear "turkey" cooking bags that you can get at the supermarket. Moist, and delicious. Choose your favorite flavorings, shove it in the bag, cook it for a long time, and I guarantee you'll be happy

      1. re: dhedges53

        Ooh yeah, I smoke brisket, too, but the OP was talking about braising, so I stuck to that. Not everyone has a smoker. :)

        I tried smoking corned beef once, just on a whim to see what would happen. Man was it GOOD. Salty as heck and needed to be used IN something, but ooh it tasted good. Made some really fantastic hash with it, no need for salt added. :)

        1. re: Morganna

          ..sounds like you made a form of Pastrami!

          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            Heh, yeah, but really really salty. I have to give it another try this summer when I'm smoking again. :)

            1. re: Morganna

              I soak store-bought corned beef for 2 days in water changed out every once in a while. Not unlike making brined (corned) beef from scratch, but going the other way - that is, you're removing salt, rather than adding it. Brining your own takes 3-4 days, so the store bought method saves some time, plus it's virtually un-screwupable. Also, you can get cheapo corned beef point cuts (although very fatty) - around St. Patrick's and right afterwards, it's 99 cents/lb.

              Anyway, after brining, (from scratch or de-brining from store-bought), I dry it on a rack, then dry rub it with a mixture of spices- mainly cracked whole coriander, mustard seed, and black pepper, onion and garlic powders, a little brown sugar. I wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge overnight to set the flavors. Then I smoke for 6-8 hours - until the middle is at 165F. (Not falling apart - that would be too far.)

              This gets cooled down, vacuum packed and put in the fridge or frozen. When we want to eat it, we braise it for about 2 hours, then slice and make into sandwiches.

              It is amazingly like Katz's.

              1. re: applehome

                ..like Katz's corned beef, or like Katz's pastrami???

                either definition is sounds delicious!

                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  Pastrami - the difference being the smokiness - but it's not overwhelmingly smokey, like que The pickled texture and flavor remain as the main characteristics.

                  When I do a brisket as que, I dry rub with different spices and smoke longer - 8-9 hours or until the center is 185F. The smokiness is more pronounced, and the meat blends well with any number of different bbq sauces - usually tomato based. BBQ sauce isn't so good on the pastrami - it just overwhelms any smokiness and doesn't sit well with the pickling flavors. It's just two different animals, from two sides of the globe. Same piece of meat. All the Pastrami needs is a little mustard and a couple of nice hearty slices of sissel.

                  If you go with the store bought corned beef, you have to get the nitrited stuff, not gray. It goes without saying that when brining it yourself, you have to use pink salt.

                2. re: applehome

                  Oh I never thought about soaking it beforehand. That's brilliant. I always buy a ton of corned beef when it's on sale around St. Patrick's Day then freeze it. It is great for a long time. :) lovely, i can't wait to try this method for my next smoking of corned beef. :)

                  1. re: applehome

                    I do almost exactly the same thing. Though I still think it's a little salty even after soaking for 2 days. The dry rub that I use also has some spanish hot paprika, cumin, thyme, ginger and the same you listed. I'll also baste with wicker's periodically while smoking, and use apple juice in the drip ;pan. It's good stuff

        2. Although this recipe is for short ribs, I use it for brisket and it is fantastic. It is sweet, but I like sweet brisket.


          I tweak it a bit, so if you like the way it sounds, I will tell you what slight changes I make.

          7 Replies
          1. re: valerie

            I never use wine in brisket, only loads of onions and broth. Some people make sweet briskets with dried fruit (prunes and apricots are great). My friend makes hers with orange marmalade. I've seen recipes that use cola or gingerale. My mom used tomato sauce. To really intensify the flavor slice the brisket about one half hour from doneness and return it to the pot.

            1. re: valerie

              Hey, I thought i was the only genius who did this! I love a sweet brisket, too, so long as the rest of the dishes are savory or neutral. My variation is that after removing the cooked brisket, I use the blender to puree some of the solids from the pot (pineapple and onions) with a little of the liquid, then add the puree back to the pot to get a nicely textured gravy. Then I slice the brisket, layer it into a dish, pour the gravy over, refrigerate overnight so the sliced meat soaks up the flavors, and reheat, covered, in the oven the next day. Heavenly.

              1. re: MommaJ

                MommaJ, I got the pureeing tip from you back in this thread and have been doing it ever since, so thank you! I also add in baby carrots, so some of those get pureed too. It definitely adds some heft to the gravy. I refrigerate overnight, then slice the day of and reheat, but maybe next time I will slice and then refrigerate to add even more flavor.

                I had 11 lbs. of brisket on Saturday night (plus a chicken dish) and boy did people gobble up this brisket! There was hardly any left over. If I add any more flavor, my guests will be begging for mercy!


                1. re: MommaJ

                  In addition to pureeing the solids, my grandmother (which I have adopted) would crush a few gingersnaps into the sauce. it gives body to the saucce and also has the benefit of giving a little sharpening to the flavor as well.

                2. re: valerie

                  Valerie...how is the timing different for brisket, do you follow the...sometimes with, sometimes without the cover? etc.

                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                    I never take the cover off. The first time I followed this recipe, I did take the cover off and I guess it was for too long because when I checked back, most of the sauce had reduced down and I had to add beef broth. From that point on, I left it covered.

                    I made a lot of brisket last weekend and I cooked it for about 4 hours, maybe even 4 1/2 hours. I like to make sure it's nice and tender.

                3. My mother never used wine in her brisket. Neither does Mitchell Davis, whose recipe for Spicy Beef Brisket is superb. I have the recipe in his book, The Mensch Chef, but this one is similar (scroll down to the brisket):


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: erica

                    Thanks for linking to my blog, but it'll be faster if you follow a direct link to the brisket recipe:


                    I liked it all right, but I think I'd prefer something less ketchupy. How is the one from the Mensch Chef different?

                  2. I made the switch to Emeril's brisket a few years ago and never looked back. Everyone loves it. I reduce the salt and sugar in the recipe.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: amela

                      how much do you reduce them by? glad to hear it was good - unless swayed by a different one, it's the recipe I plan to use.

                      1. re: Ima Foodie

                        I use reconstituted beef stock which has salt added so I reduce the salt to a little less than 1 tsp. I cut the brown sugar down to 3/4 cup and don't pack it. I use the recipe for a 6 pound brisket and keep the sauce amount the same. This Passover I am making almost 17 pounds and I am doubling the sauce amount. Tonight I am making the onions and I sure wish I had thought to do it in the crockpot! LOTs of onions!

                        1. re: amela

                          Emeril has a few recipes. I know this is an old thread, but I'm curious which of his you recommend? The passover brisket?

                            1. re: amela

                              Since it's been a few years since this thread was active, someone should post a link to The Brisket Book by Stephanie Pierson. It's a fun read has lots of recipes, both traditional and not, from the braised, barbecued, and corned categories. I've tried the two signature recipes so far, attributed to Nach Waxman and Joan Nathan, both of which were fabulous and better than what I'd been doing before (my mother's recipe -- heresy!). Find it here or wherever you buy books (or the library, which is what I did): http://www.amazon.com/Brisket-Book-Lo...

                              1. re: concordjeff

                                Any particular favorite you'd be willing to paraphrase?

                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                  Better than that. I asked the Google:
                                  Nach Waxman's is here: http://www.recipesource.com/main-dish...

                                  And Joan Nathan's is here:

                                  They were both great. I think I liked Joan's better. Although the flavor from the onions from Nach's was fantastic...amazing the flavors that can come from "onion goo"!

                                  1. re: concordjeff

                                    Haha, thanks for your google-fu! I appreciate it.

                                    ETA: I have a brisket I've been saving, and now I have the recipe to cook it (Joan's). This'll be my first shot cooking this cut, but I think you've pointed me in the right direction.

                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                      I made Joan Nathan's recipe, slightly modified, and really enjoyed it. I cooked it at a slightly lower temp (around 315F), because low and slow is how I roll.

                                      After tasting the sauce, I thought it needed a little umami and sweetness, so I added 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce and 2 Tbsp. lingonberry jam. I also added a half a diced shallot and 4 crushed cloves of garlic to the braising liquid (per a suggestion from bushwickgirl). Before serving, I removed the bay leaves, garlic cloves, and carrots and pureed the sauce. Next time I might stir in a little cornstarch slurry just to bring the sauce together with a nice glossy finish (otherwise the texture reminds me ever so slightly baby food).

                                      The brisket was very good the day after it was made and really excellent (fall-apart tender and juicy) after a second slow reheating about 3 days later. I'd make it again---this is a great basis to riff off of.

                    2. I made Brisket the other day and served it to at least 20 people who all said it was the best brisket they had ever had.. I double cooked it. Frist I seasoned it with salt pepper chile powder paprika garlic, then I smoked it all night. I kept the pan juice and fat. let it cool in fridge. Then I sliced it very then while cool . I took some pomegranate juice and some tangerine juice some of the pan juice and fat a package of lipton onion soup mix and about a cup of brown sugar then I boiled this and reduced it down. I poured this over the thin sliced brisket and braised in the oven in a dutch oven with lid on on about 275 for 2 hours. It was fantastic.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Analisas mom

                        I know this is an old post, but damn, that sounds good!

                      2. I made the Emeril recipe from FN and it was excellent. Some said it was the best they'd ever had! It has a nice spicy kick to it. I would definitely recommend it.

                        1. I use red wine, but my mom uses tomato juice as the braising liquid. Add in lots a sweet onions, leeks, and carrots to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes.

                          1. I use beer... there was a recipe in the Washington Post a couple years ago - rub brisket with a mixture of chile powder, garlic powder, s&p. Mix about 1/2 C bbq sauce and 1 beer (12 oz, minus a sip or two). 325F for 1 hr/lb. Works well with medium-intensity beer, not as well with stouts.

                            1. I love love love this recipe:


                              You can omit the wine and just use beef broth.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Jennalynn

                                This epicurious recipe, Jennalynn, is an updated version of the Eastern European dish called Tzimmes. It sounds great.

                                1. re: lucyis

                                  It's more like Tzimmes meets Brisket.

                                  Tzimmes does not traditionally have meat.

                                  But whatever you call it, it's delish!

                                  1. re: Jennalynn

                                    My Hungarian grandfather's Tzimmes always had a bit of flanken in it.

                              2. update: I did end up using Emeril's recipe, and it was great!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Ima Foodie

                                  which one? There's quite a few for him.

                                  1. re: dklipscomb

                                    the one titled "passover brisket". It's a bit on the sweet side, next time I may cut back a little on the brown sugar) but was excellent.

                                    1. re: Ima Foodie

                                      I'm so glad you liked it! The original recipe is definitely too sweet for me also. I also used an electric knife to carve all that meat this year and what a difference. Very little shredding.

                                2. I must say with all due modesty that I made my best brisket ever this Passover. I used "My mother's brisket" from Epicurious as the base -- caramelize 3 lbs onions while brisket sears in preheated lightly oiled pan in the oven. Add paprika, bay leaves, fresh thyme sprigs, plenty of smashed and some minced garlic, S&P and water, bring to a boil and pour over brisket. Cover and bake several hours.
                                  Before it's really soft, I remove and slice and add sliced portobellos. Chill brisket and sauce separately overnight. Skiim off fat next day and reheat brisket w/ some sauce, reducing remainder. Mmm good.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                    "My Mother's Brisket" is the MOTHER of all briskets! That recipe totally rocks. I do it as written, without the mushrooms, but hey, how can mushrooms be bad? Bake for at least 4 hours and let rest overnight before reheating. It doesn't get any better.

                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                      so this is different from Joan Nathan's "My Mother's Brisket," which include 1 1/2 cup vinegar and chili sauce, yes? We used that one this year. I enjoyed, but didn't feel we'd found the fall back recipe. Will get the other mother's brisket a try.

                                      1. re: sljones

                                        Yes, it is different. The first time I made brisket a few years ago, I used Joan Nathan's "My Mother's Brisket recipe. I felt that it was too "vinegar-y" and never went back to it. I tried a few recipes over that following year, although I never tried the Epicurious "My Mother's Brisket".

                                        I even tried Joel Siegel's Brisket. It was good, but not great. I stand by my recipe that I have tweaked and fine tuned (in my post above). Love it.


                                        1. re: valerie

                                          When I make a brisket, I use my mother's recipe, no vino, vinegar or sugar, just the goodness of simmering the beef with spices and veggies for hours at a low temp. My recipe can be found in my Sharing Mtn. Recipes cookbook or on my website: www.themuffinlady.com.
                                          Be aware that in higher elevations it is best to cook/simmer the beef at 320-315* F and simply let it go until your desired texture. In higher elevations it will take longer to cook than it will at sea level, but the flavor is still as scrumptious as when Mom made it long ago in Philadelphia.

                                    2. This may be too late for you, but my tried and true recipe is in Joan Nathan's book "Jewish Cooking in America." The recipe is by Wendy Marcus (of the Nieman Marcus family) and is basically a BBQ brisket (as served to Lyndon B Johnson). It has chili sauce and beer (hopefully that is ok for you). I made it last New Year's day and it rocked. I froze the what little I had left over (sending some home with the guests that wanted some) and can't wait to eat it again.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: rednails

                                        That is a delicious brisket recipe, my husband's standard except during Pesach due to the beer. I am not sure if there is K for P chili sauce, either.
                                        Usually the brisket comes out a bright pink color, looking like corned beef, and sometime the normal grey/brown color. Not sure what the color is not aways consistent!?

                                        1. re: p.j.

                                          We got this recipe from Ina on FoodTV. We used it for Passover and made it exactly as written. It was a major hit. Major!!!


                                          1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                            My cousin makes a killer brisket which calls for cranberry sauce. I keep hounding her for the recipe. Hopefully one of these days she'll come through for me. It is the best I've ever had!

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              I just googled "brisket, pot roast, cranberry sauce" and came up with quite a number of recipes...perhaps one of these might be the one you are looking for...

                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                Thanks Chowfun derek. Funny you should say this because as soon as I finished posting this thread I did the exact same thing. The recipes that come up seem dead easy. I would have thought my cousin's recipe had more to it but I could be wrong. I will one day give this a try but at the moment I've had enough brisket for awhile. In the meantime I will keep hounding my cousin for her recipe.

                                      2. Family recipe...can't be beat:

                                        Sprinkle brisket with coarse salt and garlic powder, all over

                                        Saute one or two onions until slightly brown

                                        Place meat and onions in roasting pan with about 1/2 inch of water.

                                        Braise at 375 to 400 for 1.5 to 2.0 hours, until tender

                                        Let the meat cool.

                                        Pour the drippings, including the onion through a strainer, and push the onion through, and put in a container. Add 1/3 to 1/2 small can of regular tomoto sauce (e.g., contadina, hunts).

                                        After the brisket cools a bit, wrap in foil and put in refigerator overnight. Put drippings/sauce mixture in refrigerator too. Next day, skim the fat off the drippings. Slice the brisket across the grain into pieces about 1/8 inch wide.

                                        Put brisket slices and sauce in a pan, and warm. If more tenderizing is needed, simmer for 15 to 30 more minutes.

                                        Serve with noodles, or roasted potatoes.