Sep 13, 2023 - Culture

Israeli American chef Michael Solomonov's go-to Rosh Hashanah brisket recipe

My Mom's Coffee-Braised Brisket from "Zahav," by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photo: Michael Persico

For Rosh Hashanah, Philadelphia's star Israeli American chef Michael Solomonov has one go-to staple: his late mother's coffee-braised brisket recipe.

Catch up quick: Solomonov, who was born in G'nei Yehuda, Israel, and raised in Pittsburgh, has won three James Beard Foundation Awards and authored three cookbooks with his business partner Steve Cook.

  • Their flagship restaurant Zahav, which opened in 2008, was the first Israeli food and the first Philadelphia restaurant to win the James Beard for outstanding restaurant.
  • And their culinary empire has grown to include Philly's Federal Donuts, which is eyeing a mid-Atlantic expansion.
  • They also run Philly's Dizengoff, Goldie, Lilah, K'Far and Laser Wolf. The latter two also have New York locations.

My Mom's Coffee-Braised Brisket, by Michael Solomonov


  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground black cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 brisket (first cut, about 4 pounds)
  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1⁄2 cups dried apricots
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 8 large eggs in their shells
  • Grated fresh horseradish


  • Mix the ground coffee, cardamom, black cardamom, and salt in a small bowl and rub into the brisket. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 475°F. Set a rack inside a roasting pan. Put the brisket on the rack and roast until the exterior has browned, about 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
  • Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until it reduces slightly, about 2 more minutes.
  • Transfer the vegetables to the roasting pan with the rack removed. Add the brisket, dried apricots, brewed coffee, and eggs in their shells. Add enough water to bring the liquid halfway up the side of the brisket.
  • Cover the pan tightly with two layers of foil, return to the oven, and braise for 1 hour. Remove the eggs, gently tap them all over to make a network of small cracks, and return them to the braise. Continue cooking until the brisket shreds easily with a fork, about 3 more hours. Let the brisket cool in its braising liquid, then refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve, preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the cold brisket, return to the braising liquid, and bake until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Spoon the broth over the meat. Serve with the peeled eggs and grated fresh horseradish.

My Mom's Coffee-Braised Brisket from "Zahav," © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


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