Moroccan Roast Brisket


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in



By Tal Smith

Published 2014

  • About

I don’t think my mother has ever cooked brisket and I know that my paternal grandparents have definitely never cooked it. Aside from it being very much an Ashkenazi tradition, it’s usually sweetish and our family palate is more savoury. We decided to try it out and made our sauce sweet but also spicy, adding za’atar and cinnamon to take it in a Moroccan direction. The tomato-onion sauce is a nod to our Libyan roots and because we live in South Africa we added a dash of chutney!


  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2½–3 kg brisket
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 400 g Rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 820 g chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, halved
  • 55 g brown onion soup
  • 1 cup chutney
  • 2 cups water


    Mix the olive oil with the paprika, cumin, cinnamon and za’atar. Rub the brisket with the spicy marinade and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.

    Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, season the meat with salt and pepper and then seal it in the pan until the meat is browned. Keep the brisket aside and cook the onions in the same pan until they soften.

    Preheat the oven to 170°C.

    Combine the rest of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Put the brisket in a deep roasting pan together with the onions and the sauce. Cover the dish with foil and roast for about 3 hours until the brisket is very soft. For the last half an hour you can roast the brisket without the foil.

    If you want to thinly slice the brisket, you will need to cool the brisket completely before slicing. Alternatively, simply pull the meat apart and serve.