Moroccan Sweet & Sour Brisket

During the religious inquisition of the 15th century, Jews in Spain, Italy, and Portugal that didn’t publicly convert to Christianity we exiled from their home countries. They mostly migrated to the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. While adapting to their new home, they were still deeply committed to the Jewish religion, it’s history, and it’s traditions. One of the most important holidays was and is Passover, a remembrance of the Jews escape from slavery in ancient Egypt. This brisket is the result a unique understanding of how to cook the tough leftover cuts of meat combined with the flavors of their new home in Morocco- especially dried fruit, flour, and cinnamon.

Moroccan passover brisket

Moroccan Sweet and Sour Brisket

Long-braising a tough cut of meat in fruit-laced liquid produces a tender, fragrant, and fruity dish that is perfect for any important dinner, especially the Jewish holiday of Passover or a nice Sunday dinner any time of the year.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Jewish, Morocco, North Africa
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven
  • Food Processor or blender


  • 4 lb Brisket
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • Flour or matzo meal for dredging brisket. Omit completely for gluten free.
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 3 medium Yellow onions, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar or honey
  • 1 cup Orange juice
  • 4 cups Beef or chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp Fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1 large Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 16 Dried apricots
  • 12 ` Pitted prunes
  • 2 tbsp Capers, drained
  • ¼ cup Chopped parsley


  • Prep – Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Season brisket with salt, black pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Dredge in flour and sear on all sides in olive oil over medium-high heat in the roasting pan, 5-7 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  • Cook – In same pan over medium heat, sauté the onions and ginger until onions become transparent. Stir in cumin and coriander. Add orange juice and reduce for a few minutes, scaping up any bits from bottom. Mix in honey and then place brisket fat-side up over the onions. Spread tomato paste over the top of the brisket, scatter garlic, bay leaf, and cinnamon around. Add stock, cover, and cook for 2½ hours. Turn brisket over every 30 minutes. Transfer brisket to a cutting board to cool for 5 – 10 minutes and then slice across the grain into ¼-inch diagonal slices. Reduce oven temp to 325°F (175°C). Fan slices back into the pan and scatter dried fruit and capers about. Cover, return to oven, and cook another 1½ hours until meat becomes fork-tender.
  • Finish – Discard bay leaf and cinnamon. Strain out liquids and puree in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Let cooked brisket cool and place covered in the refrigerator overnight too. To serve, remove both from refrigerator and scrape off any fat that may have congealed on the tops. Warm liquid and pour over brisket, cover, and warm in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 45 minutes. Lay slices across a platter and cover with any remaining liquid. Sprinkle parsley over and serve with couscous, mashed potatoes, or potato pancakes.


  • Dish may be made up-to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator or frozen for 2 months and defrosted before warming in the oven.


Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 1391mg | Potassium: 1370mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 884IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg

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