February 24, 2024
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Brisket. It’s Tradition!

In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as a pot roast, especially as a holiday main course. For reasons of economics and kashrut, it was historically one of the more popular cuts of beef among Ashkenazi Jews. Brisket is also the most popular cut for corned beef, which can be further spiced and smoked to make pastrami.

 

Cranberry-Onion Chanukah Brisket

8-10 servings

  • 8 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½-inch lemon peel strip
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1-ounce envelopes kosher pareve onion soup mix
  • 1 7-pound trimmed beef brisket

Day before serving:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Layer two sheets of foil in a large roasting pan, letting foil hang over 8 inches past each end. Repeat with 2 additional sheets of foil to form an X. Top with a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, lemon peel strip and lemon juice. Cook crushed cranberries with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens, 10-14 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in onion soup mix. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Spread a quarter of cranberry sauce on parchment. Place brisket, fat side up, on top. Spread remaining cranberry sauce on top, top with parchment, wrap foil around brisket. Place in the oven 3-3 ½ hours. Uncover. Let cool for 1 ½ hours. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Day of serving:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Uncover the brisket. Discard any fat. Scrape off cranberry sauce and place in a bowl.
  2. Slice brisket on carving board. Arrange in an ovenproof dish. Spoon cranberry sauce over top, cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 

Beer-Braised Brisket With Root Vegetables

4-6 servings

This recipe is good for a small family and a small brisket. It comes from Ian Knauer, former Gourmet Magazine editor, chef, food writer and owner of The Farm Cooking School.

  • 1 brisket, 2 ½ -3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom tops
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 large sliced carrots
  • 3 sliced parsnips
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 12 ounces beer of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  1. Heat oil in a pot. Sear the brisket 3-4 minutes, turn, and continue searing 3-4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Stir onion, mushrooms and garlic in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Place brisket and juices back in the pot.
  3. Stir in carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, beer, Worcestershire sauce and stock. Cover and simmer for 6 hours until meat is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, stir flour and 2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl, then whisk into pot. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Place on a plate, sprinkle with dill and slice.


Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem where she has led weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English since 2009. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for Janglo.net, the oldest, largest website for English speakers from 2014 to 2020.

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