“Hanukkah” brisket (pressure cooker, and oven variations)

by | Jan 18, 2019 | Food and cooking, Lifestyle

“Hanukkah” brisket (pressure cooker, and oven variations)

by | Jan 18, 2019 | Food and cooking, Lifestyle

Hello and welcome back to my first food post of the year!

I must admit that I often find myself so busy with work, blogging, kids and uni (in no particular order of priority) that as usual, Foodie Fridays has the poor neglected “fifth child.”

Today I am sharing with you a recipe I made last week called “Hanukkah” brisket.

Now obviously I am not Jewish… and the closest thing to celebrating Hanukkah that I’ve ever come to is our very good friends Moo and Charlotte (hi guys!) who celebrate “Chrismukkah” every year.  I have good friends (who I must say I haven’t seen in ages – yes that’s you Jazzy and Hen) who do celebrate Hanukkah, so I’m sure they will let me know if this recipe is authentic or not.

I don’t know a lot about Hanukkah, except that it is a celebration of Jewish faith and commemorates the rebuilding of abig temple many years ago after a war destroyed it.

I am road testing this recipe of Andrew Zimmern (celebrity foodie/chef), who I actually love to watch on the food channel with his show “Bizarre foods, delicious destinations.” I love being grossed out by what he eats!  I think the grossest thing  ever saw him eat on the show was a dung beetle.  Mind you, he has eaten heaps of other gross stuff too, including a fermented sheep’s head, “hakarl” (rotten sleeper shark), and penises from many different animals.  Still not as gross as my all time favourite when I saw Robson Green (on his show “Extreme fishing”) in Africa eating fly soup (literally made with boiled flies *vomits into mouth*).

Anyhoo, I digress.  The above examples should NOT suggest to you that this guy only loves to eat disgusting things… He is actually an acclaimed food expert/critic, chef and restaurateur.  This brisket is actually really tasty and very easy to prep and the only ingredient I didn’t already have at home was the red wine vinegar… easy solved with a quick trip to the shops!  I prolly could have used red wine, but I didn’t already have a bottle open and I was in the mood for bubbles that day 😀


The original recipe I obtained from here:  https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/hanukkah-brisket

…but I did alter it – because my little family couldn’t eat 4 kg of brisket on our own!  Brisket is sooo yummy.  Probably because it is fatty, it is tender and juicy when it is cooked properly. The original recipe calls for 6 hours of baking in an oven… but seriously – who has time for that???  I usually make my Chinese 5 spice brisket when I have this cut of meat… I honestly don’t think this Hanukkah recipe is as good as my variation on my beloved mum’s recipe (disclaimer: I’m very biased 😉 )  BUT I needed an alternative brisket recipe!  Hence this road test.

This is my pressure cooker and slightly smaller variation on Andrew Zimmern’s original recipe.  For me it served 3 adults, 2 small children and we had enough for 2 adult sized meals left over.


  • 2 tbs dried thyme
  • 2 tbs smoked paprika (I didn’t have sweet)
  • 3 tbs freshly chopped sage (I didn’t have dried stuff and I grow it fresh in the garden)
  • 1 tbs freshly ground black pepper
  • a good pinch or more of sea salt
  • 2kg whole beef brisket
  • vegetable oil for browning the meat (about 1/4 cup)
  • 5 medium sized brown onions sliced
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 1 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 can (400g) tomato puree
  • 8 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf (first time I used a bay leaf from my tree!  I’ve only had it 2 years – ha ha ha!!)
  • 3 fennel bulbs cut through core into wedges


  1. Mix your herbs and seasonings (thyme, paprika, sage, ground pepper and 1 tablespoon of sea salt) in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour (or if you are not organised like me, just rub it on and then get on with the rest of the recipe! ;P ).
  2. Heat the wok and pour the oil around the sides. Add the brisket to the wok and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the brisket to your pressure cooker.
  3.  Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt to the wok. Cook over a moderate heat (stirring so it doesn’t catch) until onions are browned. Add the beef stock, vinegar, tomato puree, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Pour over the brisket in the pressure cooker, then nestle the fennel in the braising liquid around it.
  4. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure (my Breville Fast Slow Pro has a setting for 80kPa, but my old Morphy Richards (may it RIP – it is now in landfill) only had one setting and that did just fine) and cook for 90 minutes (to be fair it’d prolly by done in 60-70 min, but I like my brisket extra fall-to-pieces-tender).
  5. Skim the fat off the braising liquid. Carve the brisket and transfer to a platter. Serve with the pan juices and vegetables.


Nom nom nom.

This recipe got a 3.75/5 from me. It was really yummy… but not as good as my mum’s brisket ;P

Till next time!! Keep on cooking and post me a pic or a comment of what you are making!!

Catch you Monday – give this a go this weekend!!


xxDr Megs


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About Dr Megs

About Dr Megs

Megan is a Brisbane and Ipswich-based paediatrician in public and private practice, and mum to two small children. You can usually find her working hard in private practice at Paeds in a Pod North Lakes and Greenslopes, and in public practice at Ipswich Hospital.

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is written for the purpose of providing GENERAL advice about common children's health topics (and of course recipes). It is NOT a substitute for a proper medical assessment and examination by a qualified physician. If your child is unwell, seek medical and attention and advice in person.