2nd Avenue Deli Brisket

Adapted from a recipe from the historical 2nd Avenue Kosher Deli

Plan to marinate the brisket overnight or at least 12 – 24 hours before cooking.


3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4-5 pound) brisket
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
5 (3 cups) yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic


In a bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, celery salt, salt, pepper, and mix with whisk. Rub spice mixture all over the dry brisket. Place in a deep dish covered with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet, add the meat, and brown on both sides. Transfer brisket to an oven proof casserole. Add water, cover, and simmer on low for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the onions, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized; add garlic, and continue simmering for a couple of minutes. Add onions and garlic to brisket pot. Cover, and continue simmering* for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is fully cooked. To test for doneness, check with a fork; it is done when there is a slight pull on the fork as it is removed from the meat. Cook longer if necessary.

Refrigerate at this point if serving the next day. Slicing is much easier when meat is cold. If not, remove the brisket to a plate, and trim all the visible fat. Then place the brisket on a cutting board, and carve thin slices across the grain (the muscle lines of the brisket) with a very sharp knife. Serve hot with gravy.


*Instead of stove top pot roasting, brisket may be baked covered in a slow 300 degree oven as well.