Brisket With Leeks and Pomegranate Molasses 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Sep 15, 2017

This is tailor-made for a modest-size holiday family meal. Cooking the brisket in the slow cooker or with the slow cooker setting on an Instant Pot allows the meat to become meltingly tender and pick up flavors from some ingredients that are symbolic for the Jewish New Year.

You’ll need a 5 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker (or equivalent). If you have an appliance that allows you to sear the meat as well, there's no need to do that step separately on the stove top.

Serve with challah.

To read the accompanying story, see: The no-hassle, just-right meal for a midweek Jewish New Year celebration (or any busy family).

Make Ahead: The brisket tastes even better after a day’s refrigeration. Cover with its sauce. Discard any congealed fat and reheat on the stove-top over medium-low heat, until warmed through.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 6 to 8 medium leeks, dark green parts trimmed
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds flat-cut beef brisket
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, or more as needed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 ounces pitted dates, coarsely chopped (generous 1 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • Pomegranate seeds (arils) (optional)

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Cut the leeks crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds; submerge in a bowl of cold water and ice cubes for 15 to 30 minutes, then use a slotted spoon or your hands to lift them out of the water and drain.

Meanwhile, cut the brisket into 4 equal pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the slow cooker, then add the leeks; cover and turn on HIGH.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron or nonstick) over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the brisket pieces and brown on all sides, turning as needed.

Transfer to the slow cooker, then add the pomegranate molasses, water, dates, garlic and cayenne pepper; cover and reduce the heat to LOW. Cook for 6 to 7 hours, or until the brisket is quite tender. Check it about halfway through and reposition the pieces so that they are coated and close to submerged in the liquid.

Once the meat is done, transfer the pieces to a cutting board. Increase the heat to HIGH; if you’d like a non-chunky sauce, use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the slow cooker mixture until fairly smooth. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced. Taste and add salt and/or pepper and more pomegranate molasses, as needed.

Meanwhile, slice the meat as you wish and arrange it on a platter. Pour the sauce over the top; garnish with pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe at

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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