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Al_Dente

Braised Brisket: The Topic

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My best friend is hosting Passover this year, and I'm going to go for my first Seder. I do quite a lot of cooking for him and his wife, and have often been responsible for most of the food at a few dinner parties we've thrown (usually to great success). Well now I'm on the hook for the brisket. I feel kinda like I'm in charge of making the turkey for Thanksgiving having never had it before. I mean, I've used brisket before when BBQing, but this is different. It seems to me there may be certain expectations about what a Passover brisket dish should be.

So I'd like your feedback. What do you think of this recipe? Do you see any pitfalls or have any advice? I'm confident I can prepare this dish well, I just want to make sure everyone will be happy with it.

Thanks!

BRISKET WITH DRIED APRICOTS, PRUNES, AND AROMATIC SPICES

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That recipe should go over well as Passover food, but be forewarned it will be somewhat heavy and sweet and will no doubt be combined with a lot of other heavy and sweet food. You might want to do something that's more classically braised and savory, such as a brisket braised in veal stock and red wine, with a sauce made from the braising liquid, served with slow-roasted onions. Or something like that.

Also, when cooking for a Passover meal, assume approximately 4 standard gentile portions per 1 Jew.

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Your recipe sounds delicious and so much more interesting than my mom's standard (read: boring) brisket. Hmmm perhaps I should start a new family tradition and cook the brisket for our upcoming Seder! I can't find any fault with your technique and based on other Epicurious reviews, most people were quite satisfied. Would love to know how it comes out and what the guests thought.

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Also, when cooking for a Passover meal, assume approximately 4 standard gentile portions per 1 Jew.

Perhaps there should be some kind of portioning change in recipegullet for those that are unaware of this fact. :wink::laugh:

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Al, the only expectation with Passover brisket (and all other briskets) is that it should develop the the texture of "buttah" so it's nice and soft and melts in the mouth.

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I'm not a fan of the sweets & meats. My brisket recipe (my Mom's actually) is similar to a standard pot roast. But people really like it.

Brown the brisket -- or coat with Kitchen Bouquet. Coat with S&P and some garlic powder.

Place in large foil pan, and add two packets of onion sou mix.

Add carrots (I just buy the pre-cleaned baby carrots), celery, onion and potatoes.

Add enough beef stock (I use "Better than Boullion") to just cover.

I start it off at 400* till I hear it boiling, then drop to 250*. Let it go until it's very tender.

A friend of mine does something similar, but adds a can of Dr. Pepper. It's suprisingly good -- not overly sweet.

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My Mom (and who would know more about brisket than a jewish mother?) made that brisket, but skiiped the reheating step. It was very tasty.

She bounces back and forth between traditional onion/garlic savory, and the sweet with the fruit. I'll eat it any way she cooks it.

But there is no way that you are going to feed eight with a brisket that size.

Much like Thanksgiving, there has to be leftovers. It's a law.

Have fun!

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Another twist on Stone's mother's recipe is to use ginger ale in place of some of the liquid. My Mom's was similar, but she used ketchup and ginger ale when the recipe called for carrots and potatoes. When she only threw in potatoes she used the onion soup mix.

Another sweet/sour combination is one can of whole berry cranberry sauce and one can of coke. I kid you not -- makes a really tasty brisket that's a little sweet, but not cloying, and a beautiful color.

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Last Passover I made a sweet and sour brisket out of Levana's Table. The recipe called for ketchup, cider vinegar, onions, either coke or ginger ale and a bunch of other things. It was very easy to put together and tasted fantastic. I actually think it's better as left-overs. If you're curious, I can PM you the recipe.

My rediculously lazy brisket recipe is: chop up celery, carrots and onion. Lay the brisket on top and smother with marinara. Cover tightly and place in 325 oven for about 3 hours. Everyone will think you slaved over a hot stove. :laugh:


Edited by bloviatrix (log)

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I think that regardless of the recipe you use, the most important thing about brisket is to make it in advance. It seems to always, always taste better after a day or two. Plus, it's easier to remove the fat (or not) and slice when cold, then reheat in the sauce.

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Thanks for the input everyone. I'll have to post a pic or two after I make it and let you know how it turned out.

I think I'll stick with the recipe-- perhaps try to tone down the sweetness a bit. I find it reassuring that this will come out okay after you folks listed such recipe ingredients as:

Kitchen Bouquet

Garlic Powder

Onion Soup Mix (!?!?!?!)

Dr Pepper

Ginger Ale

Canned cranberry sauce

Coke

Yikes. I don't know if I could use these things-- at least not in a holiday meal. :raz:

I'll definitely take the "make ahead" advice. I think I'll try to whip this up Sunday morning.

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I personally don't like sweet brisket recipes, but that's my own hang up. I would do it the day before too, brisket reheated always tastes better. Also, throw in an extra onion or two, they are the best part.

By the way, there is a reason we drink 5 cups of wine throughout the meal. Be prepared for a long, but sometimes fun, meal.

Make sure the wine isn't Manashevitz though :biggrin:

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By the way, there is a reason we drink 5 cups of wine throughout the meal. Be prepared for a long, but sometimes fun, meal.

Make sure the wine isn't Manashevitz though :biggrin:

5 cups of wine is NO problem :biggrin:

I'll bring my own wine!

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Al_Dente --

I usually let my brisket cook overnight in a low oven, between 200-225. If you put it in on Saturday night before you go to bed, you'll wake up to the most wonderful aroma in the house and the brisket will have an extra 12 hours or so to "age".

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I saw something in the recent Saveur that interested me. It was a recipe for a braised "BBQ" brisket, but I see no reason it shouldn't work with any seasonings. The brisket was browned, then braised until tender to the point of a knife, at which point it was removed from the braising vessel, cooled slightly and cut into slices. Once cut, the brisket is reasembled in a braising vessel sized just large enough to accomodate the brisket in one layer more or less the way it was before it was cut (i.e., with the slices "standing up on their edges" rather than piled up). Then the dish is braised again until the slices are meltingly fork tender. It struck me as an interesting solution to a common problem with long-braised brisket: that the brisket is so tender it crumbles apart when it is sliced.

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I saw something in the recent Saveur that interested me. It was a recipe for a braised "BBQ" brisket, but I see no reason it shouldn't work with any seasonings. The brisket was browned, then braised until tender to the point of a knife, at which point it was removed from the braising vessel, cooled slightly and cut into slices. Once cut, the brisket is reasembled in a braising vessel sized just large enough to accomodate the brisket in one layer more or less the way it was before it was cut (i.e., with the slices "standing up on their edges" rather than piled up). Then the dish is braised again until the slices are meltingly fork tender. It struck me as an interesting solution to a common problem with long-braised brisket: that the brisket is so tender it crumbles apart when it is sliced.

The current copy of Saveur arrived this week and, as you correctly note, the main focus was on brisket, a timely piece for sure! I will take your ideas about handling the finished brisket to ensure less of the "falling apart" which so often occurs.

I don't care for sweet briskets but opt for a paprika, garlic, onion recipe, and bay

leaves, which produces,not only silky meat but a gloriously flavored gravy which is redolent of the onions and garlic ... :biggrin:

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FWIW, I do something like FG's brisket technique. First I caramelize a ton of onions and puree them, then I make the liquid with the inion puree, reduced red wine and reduced veal stock. Since I braise at a low temperature in a big enameled cast iron pot with a heavy lid, I like for the braising medium to already be fairly thick. I am also likely to use a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Slow roasted onions and carrots would be just the thing.

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My recipe's a little like Stone's...borderline Sandra Lee-ish, even.

I will brush a little Liquid Smoke on the brisket and then put it in one of those Reynolds Foil Oven Bags. I put a packet of onion soup mix on top of it (or you could caramelize your own onions and add beef stock and a ton of salt, instead :laugh: ).

I also add a good slathering of my favorite BBQ sauce on top of the brisket. Add a cup or two of a good red wine, seal the bag, put the bag in a roasting pan and roast it in a slow oven until the next election :wink: (meaning a long time).

If I could bottle the gravy that comes out of this recipe, I'd be a gazillionaire, it tastes so good.

[HOMER] Mmmm...brisket gravy. [/HOMER]

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My rediculously lazy brisket recipe is: chop up celery, carrots and onion. Lay the brisket on top and smother with marinara.

At first read, I thought you said: "Lay the brisket on top and smother with marijuana."

Good luck with your brisket, Al. I'd be nervous too!

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I don't care for sweet briskets but opt for a paprika, garlic, onion recipe,  and bay leaves, which produces, not only silky meat but a gloriously flavored gravy which is redolent of the onions and garlic ...  :biggrin:

I agree with this. :smile:

Sprinkle it with kosher salt, high-quality garlic powder and then coat it completely with Hungarian sweet paprika. Braise it over a bed of onions and carrots using water, stock or beer (if it's not a pious crowd) for 4-5 hours. There are a few other steps you can take, but this will get you plently of "oohs and aahs".

=R=

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My rediculously lazy brisket recipe is: chop up celery, carrots and onion.  Lay the brisket on top and smother with marinara.

At first read, I thought you said: "Lay the brisket on top and smother with marijuana."

That would make for a much more interesting Seder :biggrin:

Beats 5 cups of wine any night.

BTW Al, many modern seders include a 6th cup in honor of Miriam in case you need it!

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I don't care for sweet briskets but opt for a paprika, garlic, onion recipe,  and bay leaves, which produces, not only silky meat but a gloriously flavored gravy which is redolent of the onions and garlic ...  :biggrin:

I agree with this. :smile:

Sprinkle it with kosher salt, high-quality garlic powder and then coat it completely with Hungarian sweet paprika. Braise it over a bed of onions and carrots using water, stock or beer (if it's not a pious crowd) for 4-5 hours. There are a few other steps you can take, but this will get you plently of "oohs and aahs".

=R=

Perhaps I will reconsider my recipe, which although quite similar to yours, will be even more intensely redolent of garlic and paprika ... still have unopened bags of the latter from a trip to Budapest last fall .... yummy! :biggrin:

and the marijuana will add that certain je ne sais quoi to my Passover brownies ... so what if it makes my guests even happier after those four requisite cups?? :laugh:

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A hint about brisket. It's best to make it a day or two in advance. Slice it - cover it with your sauce (make sure you have enough sauce to cover). Refrigerate. And then reheat before serving. Brisket is generally very lean internally (except for the point cut) - and this seems to tenderize it. Not to mention that it's always easier making things in advance.

As for my favorite ridiculously easy but good brisket recipe:

Line a roasting pan with foil. Slice up a green pepper or two (depending on the size of your brisket) into strips. Place 1/2 the pepper on the foil. Sprinkle the pepper with 1/2 or 1 packet of Lipton's onion soup mix - again depending on the size of the brisket. Place the brisket on top - fat side down. Rub 3 or 4 finely chopped garlic gloves (I use a mini chopper) onto the top of the brisket. Put the rest of the pepper strips and the remaining half of the Lipton's onion soup mix on top. Draw X's on top of the brisket with ketchup. Add about 1-2 cups of water in the bottom of the foil. Put foil on top - and make a packet - crimping the edges tightly (but leave space for hot air circulation). Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours. When brisket is done - mix the stuff on top of the brisket into the sauce. Robyn

P.S. The absolute best thing I like with my brisket and brisket gravy is noodle kugel. Kind of hard to do at Passover unless you're celebrating it at the First Baptist Church in your town :smile:. But perfect for other holidays.


Edited by robyn (log)

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A hint about brisket. It's best to make it a day or two in advance. Slice it - cover it with your sauce (make sure you have enough sauce to cover). Refrigerate. And then reheat before serving. Brisket is generally very lean internally (except for the point cut) - and this seems to tenderize it. Not to mention that it's always easier making things in advance.

As for my favorite ridiculously easy but good brisket recipe:

Line a roasting pan with foil. Slice up a green pepper or two (depending on the size of your brisket) into strips. Place 1/2 the pepper on the foil. Sprinkle the pepper with 1/2 or 1 packet of Lipton's onion soup mix - again depending on the size of the brisket. Place the brisket on top - fat side down. Rub 3 or 4 finely chopped garlic gloves (I use a mini chopper) onto the top of the brisket. Put the rest of the pepper strips and the remaining half of the Lipton's onion soup mix on top. Draw X's on top of the brisket with ketchup. Add about 1-2 cups of water in the bottom of the foil. Put foil on top - and make a packet - crimping the edges tightly (but leave space for hot air circulation). Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours. When brisket is done - mix the stuff on top of the brisket into the sauce. Robyn

P.S. The absolute best thing I like with my brisket and brisket gravy is noodle kugel. Kind of hard to do at Passover unless you're celebrating it at the First Baptist Church in your town :smile:. But perfect for other holidays.

With the possible exception of the non-Passover Lipton Onion Soup Mix, the noodle kugel, and the First Baptist Church, I can see your points here, Robyn .... :biggrin: otherwise, I actually do slice up the brisket and let the meat sit in the sauce ....

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I believe that Goodman's makes a kosher l'Pesach version of their onion soup mix.


Edited by bloviatrix (log)

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