Recipe: Fig and pomegranate brisket

Ultimate Friday night comfort food

  • place PRE 1 hour
  • place COOK 5+ hours plus resting time
  • place SERVES 8 - 10
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Brisket is always better served the next day; if you have time, cool the whole cut in its braising liquid, then slice it against the grain and re-warm gently in the sauce.


  • Preheat the oven to 150°C.

  • Arrange the brisket on a large plate and season it generously on all sides with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 tsp of the pepper. In a large, heavy-lidded casserole pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat, until very hot but not smoking. Add the brisket (fattier side down, if there is one) and sear until deeply browned and crisped in parts, 6 to 7 minutes. Carefully flip the brisket and sear for another 6 minutes, then, if they’re thick enough, sear each of the narrow sides, standing up the brisket, if possible, 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, leaving any fat and juices in the pan.

  • Add the onions and flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flour is absorbed, 1 minutes, then add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and then simmer until the wine reduces by half. This should take 4-5 minutes. Add the broth, pomegranate molasses, dried figs, honey, vinegar, cumin, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper.

  • Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and gently replace the brisket in the roasting pan, spooning some of the sauce and onions over the brisket. Cover with a piece of parchment paper (this will prevent the acid in the sauce from interacting with the foil), seal the roasting pan tightly with foil, and cook in the oven until the brisket is tender for around 4 hours. Remove from oven, unseal slightly, then cool to room temperature for about 1 hour.

  • Ideally, refrigerate overnight and then discard the congealed fat. Remove the brisket from the sauce and slice against the grain into slices or around ½-cm. Heat the sauce over a medium-high heat, until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens to your liking, 10-15 minutes. Place the sliced brisket back in the sauce, cover with foil, and warm gently in a 100°C oven until heated through, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Transfer the brisket and sauce to a platter, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh figs, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves.

Recipe adapted from Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals from my table to yours (Avery, a division of Penguin Random House)


One 2.25kg brisket with a good amount of fat
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
60ml vegetable oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain or gluten-free flour
10 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 tbsp tomato paste
480ml dry white wine
360ml beef/chicken broth
80ml pomegranate molasses
4 dried figs, chopped
60ml honey
1½ tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
6 fresh figs,*quartered (or extra pomegranate seeds)
90g pomegranate seeds
Mint leaves, for garnish

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