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Brisket in Tahina Sauce

An Israeli-American dish, adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America, Knopf, 1994

If you love tahina (the other name of tahini, when pronounced in Hebrew), the lush sesame seed paste, this is the brisket for you. It’s very rich and a little goes a long way. Nathan credits Israeli-born home cook Dalia Carmel for this recipe. After eating a brisket cooked in coconut milk in a Malay restaurant in New York, Carmel conjured up a Middle Eastern–style brisket. The tahina in this lovely hybrid adds a creamy richness; the pineapple juice tenderizes the meat.

  • 8-10 ServingsServings


  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth, plus extra if needed
  • 1 cup tahina
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus extra if needed
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 (4-pound) beef brisket, trimmed


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the onion soup mix, pineapple juice, broth, tahina, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, lemon juice, and ¼ cup water.

Trim the brisket of most of the fat. Place in a shallow baking pan and rub with the onion-tahina mixture, making sure there is at least 2 inches of liquid beneath the meat. If there’s not enough, add more water. Scatter the sliced onion on top.

Bake, covered with heavy-duty aluminum foil, for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. If it is too dry after an hour, add more broth or pineapple juice.

When done, remove the meat from the sauce and cool. Refrigerate the sauce so that the fat can be removed. Slice the meat against the grain and place it in a pan. Cover with the sauce. If it is too thick, again blend in some pineapple juice or water to thin it out. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover and heat in the oven until hot, about 45 minutes, and serve.
—From The Brisket Book by Stephanie Pierson/Andrews McMeel Publishing

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