Silan Stovetop Brisket

Traditional Babylonian dishes for the holidays would include semolina kubbah stuffed with ground lamb in a sweet and sour broth with okra and ma’hasha, a colorful array of meat and rice stuffed grape leaves, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. There would be moist chicken slow simmered in a fresh broth and pilau b’jij, a chicken and red rice dish garnished with crispy caramelized onion, slivered almonds and golden sultanas.

These dishes still grace my family table. But there is nothing easier and more delicious and crowd-pleasing than a brisket slow cooked with onions and potatoes. 

This recipe gets great flavor from the spice rub and is really easy to prepare. In a nod to the simanim, I added Silan, a pure date honey, which lends just the right sweet, smoky notes to the meat. 

Best of all it’s cooked on the stovetop, saving that precious oven real estate for your other dishes. 


1 (4lb) brisket

Spice Rub

2 Tbsp sweet paprika

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp mustard powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 Tbsp brown sugar 

1 Tbsp chicken consommé powder


2 Tbsp avocado or vegetable oil

2 large onions, peeled and chopped into eight wedges

10 cloves garlic, chopped

6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into long wedges

2 cups red wine

2 cups water 

2 Tbsp Silan (pure date syrup)

2 teaspoons salt 

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a bowl, combine spices, brown sugar and consommé to form a rub.

Sprinkle spice rub on both sides of the brisket.

Heat a wide, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add oil. Add the brisket and sear for five minutes. Flip the brisket and sear the other side.

Add the onions, garlic and potatoes around the brisket, then sauté for another five minutes.

Add the wine, water, Silan and salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is fork tender. 

Let meat rest, then remove from the pot and slice. 

Return the sliced meat to the pot and serve with juices. 

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