Apple Brisket

When I was growing up, we always had the same brisket at holiday dinners. Rosh Hashana and Passover, my parents would cook their famous Garlic Brisket. And it’s delicious, but at some point I decided that maybe we could mix it up a bit. I never want to take the traditional family brisket out of rotation, but I thought it would be nice to occasionally have something different.

So for the last decade (give or take), I’ve been trying different things, playing with different flavours. One of my favorite barbeque sauces is an apple-butter-honey-barbeque sauce and I wanted to try some of those flavours with brisket. And boy, was I happy with the end result.

Apples and beef brisket might not be the most common combination, but if you like a sweet and tangy sauce with your brisket, try this one!

Because we’re not having large gathering right now, I cool the brisket completely after dinner, then package the extras up in freezer bags and freeze for another meal. Then I just need to thaw and heat for another delicious dinner.


  • 2 – 2.5 kg beef brisket (4 1/2 – 5 lbs.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced (454 grams / 1 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika (or sweet paprika if you can’t find KFP smoked paprika)
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup honey (155 grams / 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups apple juice (or apple cider)
  • 675 grams / 1 1/2 lbs. Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

Rinse and dry the brisket and season both sides generously with salt and black pepper.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat (to very hot, but not smoking).  Brown the brisket on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a roasting pan and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and brown sugar to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and have just started to brown, 10 -15 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and paprika and cook another minute, stirring continuously.

Add the honey and stir through. Add the apple cider vinegar and apple juice and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced apples and let simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Carefully pour all of this over the brisket in the roasting pan. Cover and place in the oven for 3 1/2 hours or until fork tender. Turn the brisket over every hour.

When it’s fork tender, remove from oven, remove the lid/foil and cool slightly. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Once chilled, use a spoon to remove any solidified fat, then take the brisket out of the sauce, scraping off all of the apples and sauce.

Slice the brisket into 5-mm / 1/4-inch thick slices, making sure you slice across the grain. Arrange the sliced brisket in a large baking dish.

Use an immersion blender, blender or food processor to puree the apples, onions and liquid, then pour the pureed sauce over the brisket. You can cover and refrigerate the brisket now and heat when you’re ready to serve or heat and serve now.

Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and heat for approximately 45 minutes or until completely heated through.

Step-by-step brisket cooking.
Finished Brisket.

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