Rosh Hashanah Family Feast

The celebration of all Jewish Holidays is most often associated with food. On Rosh Hashanah, we eat apples dipped in honey so that we may have a sweet year and then there are many other traditions that families follow. For me, as I think of Rosh Hashanah, aside from its very significant spiritual and religious connotations, it is filled with memories of delicious smells filling the house – chicken soup, gefilte fish, chicken, brisket, and of course  the delicious desserts. Today, I have focused my blog on the meat parts of the meal so that you can start preparing in advance, and not leave everything to the day of or night before. Both soup and brisket freeze very well, so you can start cooking those as soon as possible and this will allow you to focus on starters, side dishes and desserts closer to the time.

Rosh Hashanah would not be a holiday if we did not have chicken soup. In South Africa where I grew up, we had chicken soup with matzo balls for Passover and chicken soup with perogies for Rosh Hashanah. It was our tradition to put the perogie into the soup, delicious! You should try it. I have created a recipe for these delicious perogies  which is used at Griller’s Pride to make and sell these deli. So think about something different this year. Instead of your traditional chicken soup with matzo balls, you may want to try it with perogies. Meanwhile, here is my chicken soup. My kids always say it is this soup that makes them feel better when they are sick or just not feeling great.

Yael’s Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup

Note: I do not add any soup powder or consomme to my soup. It is made from all natural ingredients chicken bones, vegetables, herbs and spices. No MSG .

1 pack chicken bones
6 large carrots peeled
2 medium onions sliced in large chunks
4 stalks of celery
1 large sweet potato
1 small bunch fresh dill (washed and checked)
10 cups water
2 Tbs. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


  • Cut off as much fat as possible from the chicken bones and place in a large pot.
  • Peel carrots and cut into large chunks. Add to pot.
  • Peel onions. Slice into large chunks and add to pot. 
  • Wash and trim the stalks of celery, leave whole with leaves on and place in pot. 
  • Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks and add to pot.
  • Add water salt and pepper and bring to a boil. 
  • Once it is boiling, turn it down to gently simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Skim the surface from time to time with a big spoon to remove any scum or fat from the top of the soup. After about an hour of cooking, add the dill. I do not chop the dill, I add it whole.
  • Taste the soup for the correct seasoning. May need more salt or pepper.Remove all the bones from the soup by straining through a sieve
  • Return the carrots, onions and sweet potato to the soup and using an immersion blender or liquidizer blend the soup till it is smooth consitency. Some people like to leave it clear and just add a few sliced carrots back into the soup. 

At this point it is ready to serve, heat it up to boiling point and serve, or you can allow it to cool and transfer to containers to freeze.

Not everyone is a fan of chicken soup, so I have included my recipe for Hearty Vegetable Soup with Meat, but that can be made without meat too.

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Meat

1 lb. bag baby carrots peeled
1 large leek
6 stalks celery + inner leaves
3 large potatoes
1 pack of shank meat with marrow bones
2 tsps. koshersalt
1 tsp ground black pepper
10 cups of water


Cut off upper dark leaves of leeks
Slice leek in half lengthways and wash each leaf to remove soils
Slice leeks thinly and place in large soup pot
Chop celery into thin slices and place on top of leeks
Put carrots on top of celery
Place meat on top and season with salt and pepper
Peel and slice potatoes into chunks and add
Cover with 10 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove meat and bones from pot. Use and immersion blender and puree veges in pot, (should make a thick smooth consistency) or transfer to a liquidizer and liquidize.
Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.
Add meat and bones back to soup and reheat.

Note, if you have anyone who is vegetarian coming to your meal, this soup can be made without the meat. If it is lacking in flavor, you may add 2 tsp. of Osem or Telma Parev soup mix.

Meat Dishes

There are so many different recipes for brisket, and for me the secret to successful brisket is in the sauce.It needs to cook slowly and for a long time to absorb the flavor and to end up tender. So, I have developed this rich and tangy sauce. It is a little like sweet and sour sauce, but it is more tangy and zesty. Try it, I know you won’t be disappointed. One other thing I have learned when cooking brisket is that brisket tastes best when it is cooked in advance, sliced, put back in the sauce and then frozen. Something happens when you do that to tenderize the meat, and to give it a juicy, succulent flavor. All you need to do is to defrost the meat over night and warm it up covered at 350 F for 30 minutes. At this point it is suggested to uncover the meat and allow it to cook for another 15 minutes.

So here it is….

Sweet and Tangy Brisket

Brisket-Raw Onions-Cooking-in-Pan  Brisket-YaelPouring1.jpgBrisket 2

1 6-7 lb. Black Angus Brisket
4 large onions
1 can ginger ale (can use diet)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup Duck Sauce
1 sachet onion soup
3 Tbs. olive oil
salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Place brisket in a large roasting dish. season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Cover with the onion soup powder.
Slice the onions into thin rings.
Fry the onions in the olive oil until they are soft and caramelized. Spread on top of brisket.
Mix the ginger ale, ketchup and the duck sauce. Pour over the meat.
Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350 F oven for at least 2 hours.

If I am going to freeze the meat in the sauce, I remove it after 2 hours, slice it, return to the sauce, cover well and freeze it. if I am going to serve it that day or the next day, I let it cook for 2 and 1/2 hours, take it out the oven, let it stand for 15 minutes and then slice and return to sauce.



I have a different brisket recipe that my friend Marianne shared with me many years ago. It is a completely different way of cooking brisket, but believe me it is delicious. This recipe is also best when the meat is cooked ahead of time, sliced and placed back in the gravy, and then frozen.

1 6-7 pound brisket
1/2 cup HP sauce
1 small  bottle Ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 packet brown onion soup

Place the brisket in a roasting pan. Rub onion soup on the brisket.
Mix all other ingredients together and pour over brisket.
Bake at 500 F for an hour and turn oven off. Leave in oven over night.

In the morning, remove the meat from the gravy. Place gravy in refrigerator so that the fat can congeal. Remove fat. Slice the meat, and return it to gravy. If you can freeze the sliced meat in the gravy until you are ready to use it. If you plan to use it that day, place it in the gravy and refrigerate till you are ready for it. Heat in a 350 F oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

Chicken Dishes

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is tradition that we dip apples in honey on this holiday to symbolize the sweet year we are hoping to have. We also try to eat sweet foods at this festive meal, so I thought that a Citrus honey chicken would be in order to keep with this concept.

Citrus Honey Chicken

Chicken-Raw-CitrusHoney chicken-CitrusHoney

2 whole cut up fryers
1/3 cup honey
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs Soy sauce
Salt, pepper,
Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. chille powder

Trim fat from chicken, and with skin on place in a casserole dish.
Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Montreal Chicken Seasoninig.
Sprinkle the cumin and chille powder on top of the other seasonings.
Mix together the honey, orange and lime juice till honey is completely dissolved and pour over the chicken.
Bake uncovered at 350 F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Baste with the sauce after the first half hour. When you think the chicken is cooked, check to see that the meat is cooked and that no red juices are flowing from the meat. Thermometer should read 170 when placed in thick part of thigh or drumstick.Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes so the juices can be absorbed back into the meat.

Chicken with Mango Salsa


2 cut up fryers
salt and pepper

1 ripe mango
1 red bell pepper
1/2 small onion chopped finely
handful of fresh Italian parsley chopped finely
handful of fresh mint chopped finely
1 jalopeno chille seeds removed and chopped finely
1 flat tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
juice of 1 or 2 limes

Trim chicken and remove any excess fat. Place chicken pieces in a casserole dish.
Season with salt and pepper.

To make salsa:

  • dice the mango.
  • dice the bell pepper
  • mix the mangoes and peppers with all the other dry salsa ingredients
  • add lime juice  and mix well.

Place the salsa on top of the chicken pieces. Cover with aluminum foil and place in refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow flavors to penetrate the chicken. Remove from fridge and bake in a
350 F oven for an hour or until chicken is crisp and salsa is soft and roasted.

Well I hope you feel inspired. Please feel free to comment, ask any questions you may have,



9 thoughts on “Rosh Hashanah Family Feast

  1. Esther Meyerson

    Thank you for bringing back memories of home (yours, Moms z”l and occasionally mine too) with your wonderful blog. The recipes are great and it’s likely that some will be used on this side of the pond for Rosh Hashanah. Can’t wait for more.

  2. Melinda Stein

    When you reference your tradition of pierogies in soup for Rosh Hashanah, in many families (and mine) we put meat-filled kreplach in the soup — very similar to pierogies but a thinner noodle, I think.

    Enjoying your blog very much — please keep it going!!

  3. Bobbi Matzner

    I loved your recipes, as well as your blog. My children have encouraged me to “go into catering” because of the meals I prepared for our enormous extended family. You are an inspiration and your recipes sound wonderful. I look forward to trying them. I am from a German background and my husband’s family is Polish. We have blended the family recipes and added new ones.
    Thank you for sharing with us. I look forward to much more.

    1. Post author

      Thank you to all who have shared comments. Please share any recipes you would like to share and I promise to mention your name.


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