Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruit & Capers
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
This Moroccan-style brisket is so abundant and impressive looking, you can keep the sides super simple.
As a special treat for Passover, I’m delighted to give you a sneak peek of one of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook, Once Upon a Chef, The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected, and Family-Approved Recipes. Perfect for the Jewish holiday or any special family dinner, this Moroccan-style brisket recipe is a wonderful twist on Nach Waxman’s “most-Googled brisket recipe” that I’ve been making for years. The ingredient list looks long but don’t let that scare you off; it’s really just a lot of spices. Plus, you can make it days ahead of time — in fact, you should because the flavor improves the longer it sits.
This dish is so abundant and impressive looking, you can keep the sides simple: some cauliflower purée and a green vegetable and your holiday dinner is done.
Note that butchers typically sell two types of brisket: flat cut and point cut. These two pieces together make up a full brisket, a large slab of muscle from the cow’s chest. The point cut has more marbling, while the flat cut (also called first cut or center cut) is lean but topped with a thick fat cap.
This recipe calls for a flat cut brisket. Don’t let your butcher trim all the fat off! A small fat cap bastes the meat, adding flavor and keeping it from getting dry and tough. You can trim any excess fat off of the brisket and skim the fat off the gravy once it’s cooked.
You may also like
- Onion-Braised Beef Brisket
- Chicken Marbella
- Moroccan Chicken Tagine
- Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruit & Capers
This Moroccan-style brisket is so abundant and impressive looking, you can keep the sides super simple.
- One (4- to 6-lb) flat-cut brisket
- 1 heaping Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ Tbsp all-purpose flour (okay to substitute matzo cake meal)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 medium yellow onions, cut into slices ½ in thick
- 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¾ tsp ground coriander
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 6 carrots, peeled and quartered on the diagonal
- 14 dried apricots
- 12 pitted prunes
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
- Season the brisket on both sides with the salt and pepper. Lightly dust with the flour, turning to coat both sides evenly.
- In a heavy flameproof roasting pan or ovenproof enameled cast-iron pot just large enough to hold the brisket, carrots, and dried fruits snugly, heat the oil over medium‑high heat. Add the brisket to the pan, fatty-side down, and sear until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a pair of tongs and a large fork, flip the brisket over and sear the other side in the same manner.
- Transfer the brisket to a platter, and then add the onions to the pan. (If the pan seems dry, add a few tablespoons of water.) Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the onions are softened and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Add 1 cup water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and place the brisket, fatty‑side up, and any accumulated juices from the platter on top of the onions. Spread the tomato paste evenly over the brisket, and then scatter the garlic around it. Cover the pan very tightly with heavy‑duty aluminum foil or a lid, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1½ hours.
- Carefully transfer the brisket to a cutting board (leave the oven on). Using an electric or very sharp knife, cut the meat across the grain on a diagonal into thin slices (aim for 1⁄8 to ¼ in thick). Return the slices to the pot, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice. The end result should resemble the original unsliced brisket leaning slightly backward. Scatter the carrots, apricots, prunes, and capers around the edges of the pot and baste with the sauce; cover tightly with the foil or lid and return to the oven.
- Lower the heat to 325°F and cook the brisket until it is fork‑tender, 1¾ to 2½ hours. Transfer the brisket to a serving platter, and then sprinkle with parsley. If you’re not planning to serve the brisket right away, let it cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Note: If the sauce seems greasy, transfer the meat and vegetables to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let sit until the fat rises to the top. Using a small ladle, spoon out the fat. Pour the skimmed gravy back over the meat.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: The brisket can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat the brisket in a 300°F oven until hot, about 45 minutes. Brisket also freezes well for up to 2 months; just be sure to defrost in the refrigerator 2 days ahead of time.
- Calories: 820
- Fat: 56 g
- Saturated fat: 21 g
- Carbohydrates: 36 g
- Sugar: 13 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 43 g
- Sodium: 901 mg
- Cholesterol: 213 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Made this Moroccan style Brisket for our kids and grandkids last Saturday night. It was marvelous, even the grandkids age 10-11 loved it. It was great to be able to make it ahead, freeze it and reheat, that with the cous cous recipe, buttered green beans, salad and home made molasses corn bread, rounded it out. Thank you, for all your recipes and expertise.
Could I cook this in a tagine instead?
Hi Bethany, I don’t have any experience cooking with a tagine, so I can’t say from experience, but I think it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!
I’ve just made this for the first time and it’s in the fridge for Christmas day. I cook a lot, but this is my first brisket! It looks gorgeous so far and I am sure it will be just as delicious as all of your other recipes. I am wondering if you serve this from the roasting pan or do you transfer it to a platter? It seems that a platter would be a nicer presentation, but I can’t see how I can transfer the entire 6.5 pound brisket to a platter, without it falling apart, now that it is much more tender after cooking. I’d also like to skim the fat from the large quantity of juices and reduce them a bit, but it seems that I’ll either have to get everything else out of the roasting pan or somehow drain the juices out of the roaster and I’m not sure how to manage either of those things without ruining the appearance of the thinly sliced brisket. I just need a little advice about how to finish and serve this beautiful meal. Thank you!
Hi Marna, I agree that it doesn’t make as nice of a presentation as it would on a platter, but I serve it from a roasting pan as it’s much easier. If you want to reduce the gravy, you’ll only get some of it, but you can get as much out as possible with a deep spoon and reduce that portion. Hope everyone enjoys!
Thank you so much for responding to me in the midst of the holiday rush, Jen! It was a big hit with everyone, including those who don’t like anything with much spice. I decided to serve it from the roasting pan, which turned out perfectly fine. I had scraped some of the solidified fat off the top of the juices when I removed it from the refrigerator for reheating and used a bulb baster to remove a little more fat halfway through reheating. What appeared to be a lot of fat remaining when I took it out of the oven after reheating seemed to settle nicely ten minutes later when I served it. Every aspect of this dish was a wonderful taste sensation. I have one tip for slicing it: thin, plastic, food-safe gloves made lifting it out of the pan for slicing and returning it to the pan much easier.
Thanks for another excellent recipe, Jen!
So glad it all worked out and that you enjoyed it — thanks for the follow up! 🙂
I just found your website and would like to make this for hannukah/Christmas. I can’t eat spicy food. Would leaving out the Cayenne Pepper mess it up? Do I need to add anything to balance it out? Also, I want to try and make it in the Crockpot this time. I will set it on low. Do you still take it out, slice it, and put it back in? Thanks
Hi Jeanne, it’s perfectly fine to just omit the cayenne. And if you’re using a slow cooker, it’s not imperative but it’s easier to slice it at that point as it’s a bit firmer. Also, slicing it 1/2 way through cooking time helps the inside of the brisket absorb more of that flavorful braising liquid. Hope that helps!
Hi, Can I make this dish in the Crock pot? I want to make this for Thanksgiving. Trying to make my life easier.
Hi Rosie, You could place the brisket in a crock pot after going through the initial steps. I don’t have much experience using a crock pot so I’m not certain how long it would take, but here are some tips that may help with conversions. Enjoy!
The best brisket recipe I’ve ever made! Thank you my family loved it! I am so proud of myself. Recipe was so easy with very few ingredients. I love that you show step by step photos, very helpful.
Jennifer another wonderful recipe!
I was a little concerned about all the spice but it could not have been more perfect. I loved all the flavor.
The addition of the fruit and onion and carrots was a nice rendition of sweet and yet mild spice flavors.
An impressive dish that all will love.
Made this for Easter and it was amazing! Just like everything else of yours I make!
I made this for Passover last night and it was spectacular!! People couldn’t get enough..I let it get a little burnt on the ends (I was going for the KC burnt end bbq taste) and it was so yummy. I added a little of the caper juice to the sauce which cut the heaviness a bit. I have been searching for years for the perfect passover brisket recipe and I think this is it!! Thanks!!!!
Hi Jen, I’m the gentleman who had purchased 2 smaller briskets 1 1/2 # each.
The only change made was I cooked at 300 degrees. I noticed you recommended serving next day, so we did just that. Family enjoyed, kids however asked how can we get more sauce?
Hi Scott, glad that, overall, you enjoyed the brisket. If you’d like more gravy, I’d recommend adding some beef broth to the roasting pan either before you start roasting or halfway through. Hope that helps!
I made the brisket yesterday to serve today and am worried I messed it up. I cooked a 6lb brisket for 1 1/2 hours on Surround Roast (Miele oven) at 375, took it out, lowered the oven temp to 325, sliced it, and put it back in for about 2 hours. I did not let it rest since the directions didn’t say that and all of the juices poured out of the meat as I was cutting. I think it’s dry and am wondering how to save it. There’s tons of juice in the pan, so I stored it in that in the fridge overnigh and plan to serve it tonight for Seder. Any suggestions to save it? And for next time, should I have let it rest before cutting it or cooked it at a lower temp? I was surprised by the high cooking temp, but your recipes always turn out great, so I tried to follow it as written.
Hi Megan, I think you’re okay. You don’t need to let it rest before slicing, but you may need to cook it a bit longer since your brisket is on the larger side. I would add in an extra half hour or so of cooking when you reheat it. You may also find that the meat soaks up the juices overnight; brisket is always better the next day. Hope that helps!
If I decide to cook it completely and slice after , when would I add the fruits and capers?
Hi Sherry, I’d add them after the brisket has cooked for 90 minutes. Enjoy!
Was going to make for Passover and was looking for cookware to hold a 7 lb brisket that can also go from stove (Smooth top cooktop) to oven. Do you by chance have a link or any suggestions? (btw Cooking everything from onceuponachef as usual lol) thanks!!!!!!
Hi Abbie, I’m so flattered that a lot of Once Upon Chef recipes will be on your Seder table! This is the roasting pan that I use (that can go from the stove to the oven). I’m not familiar with what is smooth cooktop-friendly so I’d check that out before purchasing. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much, it was the perfect pan for the best, most unreal brisket everrr!! Can’t wait for all the compliments tomorrow (along with all your sides and desserts 🙌🏻)
Chef Jenn never disappoints!!!
Learned a lesson the hard way. I’m still a new cook. I’d always heard that brisket needs to cook for a long time since it’s a tough cut of meat. So I followed the recipe exactly and after lowering the oven to 325, I continued cooking it for 2 1/2 hours .
Everything was burned. Had to toss.
Hi Jen, I have 2 questions, first I only have 3 pounds of brisket two pieces 1.5 pounds. Would I have to adjust cooking time?
Second question, could I use dates instead of apricots? Thanks
Hi Scott, Regarding cooking time, after the first 90 minutes in the oven and slicing the brisket, it’ll need less time back in the oven, but hard to say by how much. I’d start checking it at about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (You’ll know it’s done when it’s fork-tender.) And it’s fine to use dates instead of apricots. Please LMK how it comes out!
I multiplied this recipe to make 15 lbs of meat!!! Cooked it a week before then froze the whole pan. It was amazing, everyone, and there where lots of people, loved it. Next time I plan to increase the cayenne to balance the sweet, richness.
So excited to make this for my first Christmas as host this year!!! I am also using your recipes for side dishes and desserts and such. I am wondering which of your two rice side dishes you would recommend to pair well with this: Basmati Rice Pilaf with Dried Fruit and Almonds or Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio–or neither, I suppose? Thanks in advance! 🙂
Hi Claire, because of the fruit in the brisket dish, I think both of those might compete with the brisket. I’d recommend plain couscous here. BTW, I have a feature on the website– for all main dishes, I suggest one or two sides that I think would pair nicely with them. To see what I’ve suggested, scroll down to the bottom of the recipe. Immediately under the recipe, you’ll see the dishes that I’ve suggested. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!
This recipe is outrageous! Great that you can make it the day or two days before. Still labor intensive though very easy. Made it for a dinner party and it is so good I am making it again for Christmas Eve.
Hi Jen, I’ve made this recipe a few times and love it. This weekend, I’m making this for someone who has a gluten intolerance. Would it be ok to sub almond flour for the all-purpose flour? Thanks!
Glad you like it! Yes, almond flour will work fine here. 🙂
Soooo… I bought a 9lb brisket. Any modifications to the cooking time?
Yes, Carolyn, the cooking time, It will definitely take longer in the oven. I’d add about 20 percent to each of the cooking times and then check it to see if it’s tender. (I’d also increase the other ingredients by 1/2.) Please LMK how it turns out!
I make your usual Brisket recipe which we love but thought this would be worth a try even though we don’t usually eat recipes with theses spices.
As usual another hit recipe by you!
Thanks so much for keeping us happy cooking and for recipes which make me want to try new flavours.
I have a few questions…
What is the differences between Moroccan/Greek/Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern Foods?
What do you think would be a good bread to go with this meat? Would baguettes go? 🥖 Or naan? 🫓
Also, what would be some good dessert options?
Hi Heather, There’s a reasonable degree of overlap between Greek, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Foods. While there may overlap with Moroccan cuisine, I consider that to be a bit different. Here’s some more info about Moroccan cuisine that you may find helpful. Regarding bread, I think you could go with either one, but I may lean toward a baguette (really personal preference though). Dessert-wise, I don’t have any traditional Moroccan desserts on my blog, but I see online that one option is lemon cake, so while not a traditional Moroccan dessert, you could give my Lemon Pound Cake a try. Hope that helps!
Thank you! That is all so helpful! What do you think would be good appetizers for this Brisket or a Moroccan meal?
While not traditionally Moroccan, this baked Brie is well liked by readers. If you want a dip instead, you could consider hummus or whipped feta dip. Hope that helps!
Thank you ☺️
Can I make this without slicing it midway? And continue as if it was sliced – then slicing it after it finishes cooking and cools.
Sure, Fran, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy!
May I ask did you stop midway and add the fruit and capers? Or did you add at the start? Thanks
Can I use whole brisket rather than flat cut for this recipe?
Hi Jessica, by whole brisket, are you referring to the point cut? If so, I’ve never cooked a point cut brisket but I think it would work. Just keep in mind that it will be fattier.
Made this for our Seder and it was fantastic! Served with mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, and an Israeli chopped salad. The dried fruit added a wonderful richness. I love this recipe!! I made it the day before and re-heated at 350deg for 1 hr. Didn’t change a thing. It’s perfect!
All your recipes that I’ve tried so far are 5 stars. I wanted to shake up the Passover lineup a bit this year so I made the Moroccan brisket a day prior to our Seder dinner. After pulling it out from the oven I tasted it (of course) and it is delicious! It is hard to believe with briskets being better on the 2nd day, that it will be even better when served. Thanks again for giving us the tried and true.
James in TX.
My oven isn’t working, and I’ve already bought my brisket for this recipe. Can I cook in a dutch oven on the stove instead? Or does it have to be braised in the oven?
Hi Bethany, I think you could, but keep an eye on it. If you notice that it’s getting dry, add a little broth. Please LMK how it turns out!
It worked! I did have to add a lot of broth, but it was super tasty!
So glad — thanks for reporting back!
Hands down, the best brisket I’ve ever had. The first time I made it, I was living alone and ate leftovers for days. The second time was with my family for Passover and my parents, not known to be foodies or adventurous in trying new foods, couldn’t stop talking about how incredible this recipe is. They melted every time they talked about it and laughed pure joy when they were eating it! They only ingredients I didn’t include were the capers. Highly recommend this!!
This brisket recipe is delicious with the different Moroccan spices, apricots and prunes. It also makes an impressive presentation for a family meal.
Not only was this simple to prepare, but it was delicious. The dried fruits add so much flavor to the brisket I could eat it all day.
Another win from my favorite cookbook!
I was wondering what effect it would have if the tomato paste was eliminated? Is there another option?
Hi Mary, You could use an equal amount of tomato sauce in place of the tomato paste. Enjoy!