Food & dining

Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for brisket with Middle Eastern spices and pomegranate

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 6

The flavors of this tender meat, marinated in a dry rub of paprika, pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice, meld in a low, slow oven; the meat is more succulent prepared a day in advance. If you do, slice the meat and reheat it in the sauce in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes.

SPICES

teaspoons ground sweet paprika
1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
½teaspoon ground allspice

1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice.

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2. Stir until blended.

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Brisket

1flat-cut brisket (3½ to 4 pounds)
Salt, to taste
2tablespoons olive oil
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
2large onions, halved and thinly sliced
6carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch lengths
3cups chicken stock
½cup canned tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
½cup pomegranate juice concentrate
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
or 1 cup pomegranate seeds
2tablespoons chopped fresh
parsley

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Sprinkle the brisket on both sides with salt. Set aside
1 tablespoon of the spice mix, and rub the remaining mixture over the brisket on both sides.

2. In a large, flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and brown for 4 minutes on a side. Transfer to a platter.

3. Add the garlic, onions, and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon spice mix and cook 1 minute more.

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4. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and pomegranate concentrate. Bring to a boil. Return the brisket to the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3½ hours. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 30 more minutes, or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Total cooking time is 4 hours.

5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

6. Skim the fat from the meat juices. If the juices seem thin, place the casserole on a medium-high burner and let it bubble steadily until it reduces enough to coat the back of a spoon.

7. Slice the brisket and set it on a platter with the carrots and onions. Spoon some sauce over the top, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Sally Pasley Vargas