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Sprinkle both sides of brisket with garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Tightly wrap the brisket with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 day.
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Unwrap the brisket and place in a roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes, turning over halfway through. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°. Place onions under and around the brisket, then cover the top of it with cranberry sauce slices. Using caution (the pan will be very hot), tightly cover the pan with heavy-duty foil. Roast until fork-tender, about 3 hours more.
Let the brisket cool in the pan. Scrape off the sauce (leave it in the pan) and transfer the brisket to a cutting board; trim the fat. Return the brisket to the pan and cover with the sauce. Cover the roasting pan and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 day.
About 1 hour before you want to serve the brisket, preheat oven to 350°.
Skim any congealed fat from the sauce. Cover the pan with foil. Heat the brisket for 20 minutes, then uncover and cook until hot and bubbling and the sauce has reduced a bit, 20 to 30 minutes more. Slice the brisket and serve with the sauce.