Brisket with Apricots and Prunes


For extra-tender brisket, cookbook author Julia Turshen cleverly uses a damp piece of crumpled parchment as a protective blanket for the meat to prevent it from drying out while it roasts. “In this case, a wet blanket is a good thing!” she says. Slideshow: More Brisket Recipes 

Brisket with Apricots and Prunes
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
6 to 8


  • One 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound brisket, preferably second cut

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 6 thyme sprigs

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika (pimentón)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • One 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 12 pitted prunes

  • 12 dried Turkish apricots


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the brisket with salt. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the brisket and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

  2. Add the onion to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, tomato paste, paprika and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is deep red in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the prunes and apricots. Return the brisket and its juices to the casserole.

  3. Scrunch up a large piece of parchment paper and moisten it with water. Spread the wet parchment over the brisket, cover and braise in the oven until tender, about 3 hours. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve with the sauce.

Make Ahead

The brisket can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in its sauce for up to 5 days. Reheat gently in a 350 degree oven or on the stovetop before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy Pinot Noir: 2014 Lazy Creek Middleridge Ranch.

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