How to Make Brisket for Passover and Other Recipes for an Easy Easter Celebration

It’s spring break season, which means full tables at dinner with family and friends.

To celebrate Passover and Easter, Jeffrey Eisner and Ashton Keefe have lent their culinary and entertaining expertise to Good Morning America with recipes that will make everyone happy this weekend.

Jewish brisket


(4 or 5 pounds) brisket (do not trim the fat before cooking)

Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup white vinegar

1 garlic clove, chopped or pressed

4 yellow onions, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons cornstarch


Take the brisket and cut it in half against the grain to fit in your Instant Pot. Rub the brisket all over with kosher salt.

Press “Sauté” in the Instant Pot and set it to be on “More” or “High”. Once hot, work one piece at a time, searing the breast for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. When finished, press Keep Warm/Cancel, place the breast on a plate, and clean and dry the liner pot.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the water, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and garlic in a mixing bowl.

With the liner pot and trivet in the Instant Pot, place one half of the brisket, fat-side up, on the trivet and top with about half the onions and sauce. Then crisscross the other half of the breast (also fat-side up) on top of the onions. Cover the brisket with the remaining onions and the sauce.

Secure the lid, move the valve to the closed position and press manually or under high pressure for 75 minutes if you want it super tender (shredded), or 65 minutes if you want it a little firmer. When finished, allow a 20 minute natural release followed by a quick release.

Very carefully place the breast halves on a cutting board (fat side up) and let cool for 15 minutes. If you decide to cut it into strips immediately before it cools, it will tear apart. While you wait, you can carefully shave off any unwanted fat and discard it (or leave it if you wish).

Meanwhile, while the brisket cools, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water and set aside.

Press keep warm/cancel and then sauté and set the setting to high or higher to bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the slurry, stir immediately, and let simmer for 30 seconds before turning the saucepan to the keep warm setting. The sauce will thicken as the brisket cools.

When the brisket has cooled, use a carving knife to cut it into strips or chunks and slice against the grain (ie, in the opposite direction that the strands of meat run).

Carefully place the beef slices back into the Instant Pot and let them marinate in the sauce (on the keep warm setting) for 5-10 minutes to keep them tender until ready to serve.


If using a 2-3 pound brisket, reduce the pressure cook time to 55-60 minutes.

Brisket tastes even better the next day. The day or night before you plan to serve, prepare the recipe and then, after slicing, place the brisket and sauce in an aluminum pan and refrigerate overnight with aluminum foil. When ready to serve, heat the whole pan with the foil on it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Chef and culinary stylist Ashton Keefe shared a delicious take on a classic olive oil cake that’s perfect for Easter or any spring get-together.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

Makes: 2, 9″ cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil

1 1/4 cups whole milk

3 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons grated grapefruit zest

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Blackberry jam, filling

powdered sugar, garnish

berries and edible flowers, garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom of each with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In another large bowl, whisk together olive oil, milk, eggs, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, and Grand Marnier. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.

Divide batter evenly among pans and bake for 30 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cake.

Cool cakes slightly and remove from pans by inverting and gently tapping on cooling rack. Arrange desired amount of jam between layers and top generously with powdered sugar and garnish with flowers and berries.

Sausage and asparagus quiche

serves: 6-8

“I like to make my quiche (and lasagne too, by the way) in a high-sided pie dish. What’s cool is that main course and dessert can be made in the same pan, resulting in a dense quiche that feels satisfying as a full meal. You can also omit the meat for a vegetarian version,” Keefe said.

1 pie crust, underneath or store bought
1 pound hot sausage, browned and cooked through
1 dozen eggs
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon of salt
1 bunch blanched and chopped asparagus, reserving a few for garnish 8 ounces goat cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F. Press cake to bottom of cake pan and fold slightly to resemble a rustic crust.

Scatter cooked sausage and asparagus on the bottom of the dish lined with the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, dairy of choice, and salt until fully combined. This may take some arm work, but eggs should be lightened in color and texture. Pour over the sausage. Dot quiche with goat cheese.

Bake the quiche for 25-30 minutes or until the eggs start to set and add the remaining 2-3 long spears of asparagus. Phew, you’re a food stylist! Cook for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the surface is firm and lightly browned and your eggs are no longer wobbling.

Pate Brisee (savory pie crust)
makes 1 double crust 9″/10″ pie shell
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ton Salt
1 ton sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, diced into 1/2-inch squares and chilled in 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice cold water


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse flour, 8 to 10 seconds.

With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the filler neck. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; Be careful not to process longer than 30 seconds. Squeeze a small amount to test: if crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide the dough into two equal-sized balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour. Dough can be stored frozen for up to 1 month.


serves: 6-8

1 loaf cake, baked in 3 6-inch cake rounds, cooled completely
1 piece of softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of milk
1 liter strawberries
1 pint raspberries or blackberries
Edible flowers
Herbs like mint or thyme

For the glaze, place the butter in a large bowl. Beat slowly with a hand mixer, add powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and milk and beat again until smooth.

Place the first cake on a cake stand, using a little frosting to help it stick.

Add some frosting between each layer and stack. Using an offset spatula, apply a layer of crumbs, that’s a thin layer of icing so don’t worry if you see some cake left. Place in the fridge to set. Apply a second layer of frosting.

Cut fruit and edible flowers to fit the cake and fill in any small gaps or spots on your cake. Be playful and layer, don’t worry about getting it perfect, it will come together quite naturally if you create a few moments around the cake.

Make it even easier? Buy store-bought white icing and thin just a hair down with a touch of milk or water.

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