There’s a reason brisket is a holiday staple. It’s a large and flavorful cut that will feed many. And while it’s cooking — for many hours — you can attend to all the other busy-work involved with a hosting a holiday meal from Passover to Hanukkah to Christmas. But brisket is not just for the holidays. This brisket recipe — with stewed fruit — is perfect for making on the kind of quiet weekend day when you finally have time on your hands to get stuff done around the house. Pop it in the oven, then go weed your garden or fix a broken lamp or any of the other million things you have on your to do list. When you’re done with your chores, you’ll have a real treat waiting for dinner — and ample leftovers, too. Serve with crusty bread or potatoes or whatever your heart desires.   


Yield: 8 servings

Time: 5 hours


1 brisket, about 3.5 to 4 pounds
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons jarred horseradish
2 tablespoons cracked pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3 teaspoons dried oregano
5 dashes hot sauce
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried apricots
1 cup dried and pitted dates
¼ sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 carrots cut into 2-inch sticks
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups red wine
8 cups beef stock


1. Make marinade: Combine mustards, horseradish, cracked pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, oregano, and hot sauce in a bowl. Rub brisket all over with marinade, place in a pan and cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place brisket in large roasting dish with red onion, then roast until mustard marinade bakes into a browned crust, about 30 minutes.

3. Add red wine, beef stock, and dried fruit to dish, lower oven to 325, and braise 4 hours.

4. Remove brisket from oven. Let cool in cooking liquid for another 4 hours, then remove and strain liquid, reserving dried fruit and onion.

5. In a wide saute pan, reduce cooking liquid by half, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss carrots in olive oil and roast at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Cut brisket into thin slices, then place in oven briefly to warm with carrots. Remove both. Toss carrots with reserved dried fruit.

7. Drizzle reduced sauce over sliced brisket and serve with carrots and fruit.