brisket sweet sour sauce

Brisket Sweet Sour Sauce Recipe

Brisket Sweet Sour Sauce

Brisket Sour Sour Sauce

One of my most famous dishes!

Want to know just how famous it is? Every year, the expert cooking staff at Levana Restaurant showcases Passover programs in four prestigious hotels. A few years ago my son Maimon worked as one of the supervisors at the Scottsdale Fairmont Resort. At one of the dinners, the guests were served brisket. One guest was heard to say, “This is delicious but not as good as Levana’s.” “That’s my mother!” my son cried proudly, like a third-grader, terminating then and there his incognito status as a member of the staff. Anyway, this is guaranteed to be the best brisket you ever had. Never mind the weird ingredients. They work! And don’t worry if the brisket is too much for your guests to finish. It freezes beautifully. My brisket sweet sour sauce recipe was included in the New York Times Jewish Cookbook, and is included in The Brisket Book: a Love Story with Recipes.

Brisket: First Cut and Second Cut Wars

So sorry I am absolutely not a fan of second cut brisket. Very little beef bang for your buck, with layers of congealed fat. Once the New York Times requested my brisket recipe for their Holiday Cooking Section. As flattered as I was, when the editor mentioned she will use my recipe but with a second cut brisket, I had to be firm and say nonono I beg you don’t do that. Please don’t believe anyone who will tell you first-cut brisket is not as moist and tender as its second-cut fat an unappealing slab of a counterpart: they will never say that again after they taste mine! Just make certain you are not getting some obscure slab of dry stringy meat masquerading (and priced) as first-cut brisket.

Yes, REAL first cut costs a little more than second cut, but when you consider that first cut is 100% food, and second cut is 60% fat, first cut is beginning to look like the real bargain here!

No problem freezing brisket sweet sour sauce.

Here’s how I like to do it: Slice the brisket. Place the slices side by side vertically in a pan, tightly packed together like a deck of cards, just as if you were serving it now, and pour your gravy over it. cover the pan air-tight, and freeze. To reheat: place the frozen pan at 250 degrees for about 1 hour, or a little longer, until heated through. Or: leave the pan out to thaw a few hours, then reheat at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, or a little longer, until heated through.

Guys, did you know I have another fabulous brisket?

A new star was recently born: Brisket in Coffee Bourbon Sauce. Outrageous! You will get no end of fabulous Seder Dishes ideas in my big Seder Menu File

Leftover Brisket?

Brisket sandwich

Good problem! Throw it in sandwiches, gravy and all, with your favorite condiments



  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • one 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard (omit on Passover)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup coke
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup cider-vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (omit on Passover, or if you think your meat might be too salty)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 first-cut brisket, six to seven pounds, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry


Preheat the oven to 350*F.

Process all but last ingredient in a food processor until smooth.

Place the brisket in a pan just big enough to fit it, and pour on the marinade. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil, and bake for 2 hours. Turn the meat over, and bake uncovered for 1 more hour. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and reduce to about 2½ cups. Skim the oil off the top. Let the brisket cool slightly. Slice thin against the grain (if the slices look too long, cut it in half across its whole length before slicing). Pour the gravy on top, and serve hot.

Yield: Makes 12 ample servings.

20 replies
  1. teri szulc
    teri szulc says:

    love your brisket recipe. CAn I cook the brisket using convection settings? and if yes shoukd I use convection bake or convection roast and at what temperature?

    PLease getbback to me as soon as possible, cooking for R H
    Thank you

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Tory Yes. And watch the cooking time, it might be shorter. Make sure you use a baking pan just large enough to fit the brisket, not larger. Andnot disposable. REAL, please!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Lisa, brisket being so expensive and requiring real showmanship, I simply wouldn’t do anything except what it says. The oven is made precisely for these recipes. If you were making a more forgiving meat recipe (say, stew, pulled meat etc), then the crockpot would be really exciting.

  2. Prag
    Prag says:

    This recipe sounds like something that I would love, do you think the result would be good if I substituted the ketchup with tomato paste?I cant’ explain it (since I like tomatoes) but ketchup doesn’t agree with me.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Prag, why not? Replace the ketchup with tomato paste thinned with a little water, and you’re there! Freiliche Purim!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Stuart I never brown mine, and it is always delicious. If you decide to brown yours, although I can’t imagine why, I think you should follow the instructions in the recipe that instructs you to brown it.

  3. Lévana
    Lévana says:

    Answering both your questions:
    You would rather have to use only one bottle of wine for cooking. Red wine will give the brisket a deeper flavor than white. This is precisely why I said nothing about white wine here.
    Can you marinate the brisket? Although it certainly won’t hurt, it’s nit in the least necessary: and if it’s not, I see no reason to give my readers an extra step to take

  4. Sarina
    Sarina says:

    Thanks for your recipes and your help answering questions!

    I know that a lot of people marinate brisket overnight in the refrigerator..does that work well with this recipe?

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      This recipe is 100% tried and true. If you started with a brisket at normal temperature (not frozen), if you fully preheated the oven, if you cooked it 2 hours covered, turned it over and cooked it one more hour, and mist importantly, if your oven is fully functional: I guarantee it: it’s done. If it’s not, you must check your oven

  5. Nadine Bonner
    Nadine Bonner says:

    I make this brisket all the time — it is fabulous! My husband is diabetic, so I use diet Coke during Pesach (Zero during the year) and omit the honey. Everyone loves it.

  6. Shuli Nakdimen
    Shuli Nakdimen says:

    Dear Levana,
    I have taken some of your cooking classes in Macy’s over the years and enjoyed them immensely. I loved your restaurant and have sent many shidduchim on their “dinner dates” to you, as well.
    I have been exercising with Liz and she told me that she goes to your classes every Monday night. I really wanted to join her this week, but couldn’t make it. Hopefully, I will join another time.
    In the meantime, she told me that you have a fabulous brisket recipe. I wonder if this is it?
    Could you please answer these questions as this looks yummy.
    1. Can I substitute the cider vinegar for either wine, balsamic, or regular white vinegar?
    2. What should I substitute for the coke?
    3. Should I use the kosher le’Pesach soy sauce?
    Thank you so much!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Yes, Levana Restaurant was the scene of many romantic crimes….
      Sure hope you will join us at one of the demos, they are lots of fun!
      Any vinegar will do
      Coke or ginger ale
      soy sauce: Skip on Pessach. That was stated clearly in the recipe. No chazarei Pessach soy sauce (what is it anyway??? G-d only knows….
      Doesn’t sound like you have my Passover menu and recipe file: Here you go: Enjoy! Have a great yom tov!

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