jane’s brisket

6 to 8    |   
Prep Time:
5 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
3 to 4 hours

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This comes from my close friend Jane in Chicago (by way of her friend Leslie’s Grandma Marion, who originated the recipe). It fills the house with rich, oniony aromas while it lolls in the oven for hours. The meat comes out fork tender and the sauce is thick as jam. I serve this southern-style on hamburger buns with my favorite capery coleslaw, which makes Jane laugh because she would never serve it with anything with mayonnaise in it! It’s also great with noodles or roast tomatoes. Keep this on hand for when you can’t think of anything else because it’s family-friendly, holiday-friendly, and a guaranteed hit.


3-1/2 to 4 lb brisket, trimmed (see note)
1 bottle chili sauce (such as Bennetts or Heinz)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a pot that will hold the meat and other ingredients snugly with a large piece of heavy foil. Place the meat on the foil and pour the chili sauce over it; scatter the onions and sugar on top. Close foil around meat so it is completely sealed. Put lid on pot and place in oven; bake for 3 to 4 hours. Start testing after 3 hours to see if it is fork tender; that’s when it is done.

note: depending on where you live and who your butcher is, you might find different cuts of brisket. Look for the flat-cut or flat half, which is preferable to the fattier point cut or point end. But if all the butcher has on hand is the point end or center cut, don’t worry: they all work. Just have most of the fat on top trimmed away.