Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruit & Capers

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

This Moroccan-style brisket is so abundant and impressive looking, you can keep the sides super simple.

Moroccan Brisket

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 RecipesPerfect 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.

Moroccan Brisket

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Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruit & Capers

This Moroccan-style brisket is so abundant and impressive looking, you can keep the sides super simple.

Servings: 8
Total Time: 4 Hours

Ingredients

  • One (4- to 6-lb) flat-cut brisket
  • 1 heaping Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (okay to substitute matzo cake meal)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 medium yellow onions, cut into slices 1/2 in thick
  • 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Season the brisket on both sides with the salt and pepper. Lightly dust with the flour, turning to coat both sides evenly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 1/4 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Fantastic recipe!

    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.

    • — Sharon Reeves on July 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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?

    Thank you!

    • — Heather on April 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you! That is all so helpful! What do you think would be good appetizers for this Brisket or a Moroccan meal?

        • — Heather on April 26, 2021
        • Reply
        • 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!

          • — Jenn on April 26, 2021
          • Reply
          • Thank you ☺️

            • — Heather on April 27, 2021
      • Can I make this without slicing it midway? And continue as if it was sliced – then slicing it after it finishes cooking and cools.
        Thanks
        Fran

        • — Fran Rochwarger on September 1, 2021
        • Reply
        • Sure, Fran, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on September 1, 2021
          • Reply
  • Hi there,
    Can I use whole brisket rather than flat cut for this recipe?

    • — Jessica on April 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • 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.

      • — Jenn on April 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Sandy Stadelmann on March 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    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.

    • — James on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Bethany on March 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on March 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • It worked! I did have to add a lot of broth, but it was super tasty!

        • — Bethany on March 25, 2021
        • Reply
        • So glad — thanks for reporting back!

          • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
          • Reply
  • 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!!

    • — Jen on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • This brisket recipe is delicious with the different Moroccan spices, apricots and prunes. It also makes an impressive presentation for a family meal.

    • — Janice Bertini on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Kelly Kulzer-Reyes on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I was wondering what effect it would have if the tomato paste was eliminated? Is there another option?

    • — Mary on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, You could use an equal amount of tomato sauce in place of the tomato paste. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2021
      • Reply

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