2nd Avenue Deli Brisket


When the 2nd Avenue Deli closed, I immediately bought the cookbook on Amazon so I could recreate the delicious flavors I grew up with. I didn’t know that it would reopen even closer to where I lived.  The first thing we made from the cookbook was the health salad. It wasn’t the same, but it definitely resembled the real thing. The next thing I made was the delicious brisket. It’s easy and is definitely worth the time put into it. Now that I have a dutch oven, it’s even easier than it ever was.

You need to prepare ahead to make this, because the meat sits and marinates in a dry rub at least overnight. And then it cooks for like 4 hours. The result is a deliciously tender meat. It’s great on its own, and it’s really great as leftovers – brisket sandwich anyone?


  • 4-pound brisket

For the dry rub:

  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt

To cook with the meat:

  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 cup water (I used chicken soup for extra flavor)
  • 3 cups onion (the recipe says chopped, but I sliced them on the mandolin)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic


1. In a bowl, combine ingredients for dry rub. Dredge the brisket in the spice mixture, making sure every part is covered. Place in dish, cover, and refrigerate for one or two days.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat in a dutch oven and brown the brisket on both sides.

3. Lower the heat, add the chicken soup or water, and cover. Simmer for one hour.

4. While simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of corn oil in a large skillet. Saute the onions, stirring occasionally. When the onions are brown, add the garlic.

5. Add onions and garlic to the brisket pot. Cover and continue simmer for 2 1/2 hours, until meat is cooked. Stick a fork in the skinny part, if there is a slight pull from the fork when removed from the meat, it’s done.

6. Remove brisket from pot, trim off the fat, and slice across the grain. The sauce and onions make a wonderful gravy to serve with.

4 responses to “2nd Avenue Deli Brisket

  1. 2nd ave deli brisket is on par with their pastrami, which is to say that its siiick. i always get half pastrami/half brisket side by side on rye with gravy to dip the brisket sandwich in and a little side of chopped liver. could be the most satisfying meal possible.

  2. rebecca levy

    what can i use if i dont have a dutch oven?

    • hey – do you have a slow cooker? this would work really well in there. or you can use a big pot, either an oven-proof one or transfer everything to an oven proof dish with a cover and bake at 300 for the 2 1/2 hours…if you try it, let us know how it goes!

  3. rebecca levy

    i do have a slow cooker.. so should i just follow the same time instructions as the original recipe?

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