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Contributed by Julie Weisman


This is my mother's friend, Leona Smith's, brisket recipe.  It is a favorite of everyone in our family.  The recipe has been passed on orally so some of the amounts are not exact – but I am pretty sure you cannot ruin it.

Food Editor's Notes:  Julie is right – this is about the easiest meal-in-one that I have ever made.  With the ketchup, tomato soup, sugar, lemon, and onions, the delicious sauce has a sweet-and-sour flavor.  It smells heavenly while cooking and looks great when serving with the vegetables and their different colors.  And Julie's right, too, about not being able to ruin this.  I used a 5-pound brisket in a 12-inch by 18-inch roasting pan.  It pretty much filled the pan at the beginning, but after the first hour of cooking the brisket shrunk, allowing plenty of room for the vegetables.  And I made this one day when I discovered a brisket in my freezer, but I did not have a can of tomato soup in the house nor time to go buy one – I used a can of tomato sauce instead.  I also used regular baking potatoes.  Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and don't peek – you want to keep the liquid (in the form of steam) from escaping to get the most gravy possible.  You can make this in advance and reheat, but don't freeze with the vegetables as they get mushy when thawed.  This is delicious, and you can never have enough brisket recipes!


1 4-pound flat-cut brisket
2 onions, chopped
4-5 medium potatoes (I like Yukon golds), cut into cubes (I usually do eighths)
4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks, about 1-inch pieces
1 can tomato soup
1 lemon
Brown sugar (I use dark brown)


Cook the brisket and onions – some under the meat, some on top of the meat – in a preheated 375-degree oven for one hour, uncovered.

Add the potatoes, carrots, and sauce (see below), and cook, covered, for another 2 1/2-3 hours at 350 degrees.  Do not uncover!

For the sauce: Mix together the can of tomato soup, the juice of 1 lemon, "a lot of ketchup" (I use 5 or so strong shakes of the bottle), and 2 large/heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar (I use a serving spoon).

This recipe could not be easier and you have your whole meal in one pan, although I particularly like to serve simple steamed green beans with this brisket.

[Food Editor's Note:  Before removing from the oven, stick a fork into the brisket to make sure it is tender.  Then remove from the oven, uncover, and let cool before slicing – it is much easier to slice when the meat is not hot.  Then you can assemble the meat and vegetables on a platter with some of the gravy, perhaps serving the rest separately.  But if you can't wait – just go ahead!]

Julie Weisman works for ShalomBoston.com and comes from a family of great cooks.  She always has the most delicious, and easiest, recipes to share with us! 

Mrs' Smith's Brisket

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