Brisket with Chinese Five Spice Recipe


Many of the ingredients in this beef brisket recipe will be familiar to Jewish cooks, including the Coca-Cola. However, I find that the addition of the Chinese Five Spice gives this dish a much more interesting layer of flavor.


1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 large cloves garlic
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup red wine
1 ½ cups Coca-Cola or ginger ale
½ cup ketchup
4 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet.
1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper or to taste
1 six to seven-pound first-cup brisket, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place everything but the brisket into a food processor, and process with steel blade until smooth.

2. Place brisket, fat side up, into a heavy baking pan just large enough to hold it, and pour sauce over it. Cover tightly and bake for 2 hours. Turn brisket over and bake uncovered for one more hour or until for-tender. Cool, cover brisket and refrigerate overnight in cooking pan.

3. The next day, transfer the brisket to a cutting board, cut off fat and cut with a sharp knife against grain, to desired thickness. Remove any congealed fat from the sauce and bring to a boil on top of the stove.

4. Heat oven to 350º F. Taste sauce to see if it needs reducing. If so, boil it down for a few minutes or as needed. Return meat to sauce and warm in oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

5. Yield 12 servings

(Inspired by Joan Nathan’s adaptation from Levana’s Table by Levana Kirschenbaum (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2002) as it appeared in The New York Times, Nov. 27, 2002)

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.