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Brisket Tips and Recipe from Mr. Food for Rosh Hashana

September 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Call it brisket or pot roast – we all love the comfort food that is braised beef roast. It’s a staple on Jewish tables for the High Holy Days that officially begin Sept. 8 at sundown, celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, 2010 It leads up to Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement.

How brisket came to be associated with Jewish holidays is somewhat unclear, though much is made of the utilitarian cut of meat that brisket is – economical in feeding a number of people. Jewish families were larger at the turn of the century when many immigrated to the U.S., and chicken parts, and cheaper beef cuts, meant to stretch cooks’ budgets, were bought by frugal homemakers and then cooked in ways to tenderize and make them palatable. Thus, roasting and boiling chickens and braising beef became the norm. Knowing the right cuts to use is important when you’re working with inexpensive meats.

Start with the right cut

Art Ginsberg, known nationally as “Mr. Food,” is an long-time friend and fellow South Floridian. He runs his business of cookbooks, TV shows and more out of his complex in Fort Lauderdale. Before he became Mr. Food, however, he was a butcher and caterer. I turn to him with meat questions and as a cook, he can answer with the consumer and shopper in mind.

So today, I asked him the difference in brisket cuts – top or bottom – which to buy?

He replied: “The first cut, the bottom, is leaner and, therefore, more expensive. The top has more fat and is, therefore, more flavorful. What is sold in most of the wholesale clubs (and many supermarkets) is the whole brisket (also known as the first and second cut, or top and bottom).”

If you do wind up with a whole brisket, after cooking it, remove the top (slicing it off horizontally), and then slice both top and bottom pieces separately against their grain. This is because the grain runs differently on the top and bottom pieces, making it difficult to cut properly when they’re together. Also, always let meats rest before slicing. In case of the brisket, you can reheat slices neatly in the sauce, either stovetop on low heat, or in the oven in a pan at 300 degrees, making this a dish to prepare a day ahead with no fear of drying out or becoming tough. (A tip: Puree the cooked prunes in the sauce; no one will guess where the rich flavor comes from.)

Here’s the recipe from Mr. Food. For other recipes good for the Jewish holidays, visit his website and click on recipes.

This fork-tender recipe for flavorful brisket of beef is a perfect make-ahead. Not only do we get the bonus of extra time, but the leftovers make for sensational sandwiches.

Brisket with Onion (and prunes and carrots)

Cooking Time: 2 hr 55 mins.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1  3-pound boneless beef brisket, well trimmed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14-ounces) ready-to-use beef broth
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces (1-1/4 cups) pitted dried prunes

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the brisket and brown on both sides. Add the onion around the brisket; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender.

Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 2 hours.

Add the carrots, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper; cover and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the brisket is fork-tender.

Uncover, add the prunes, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the prunes are tender.

Slice the brisket across the grain and serve topped with the carrots, prunes, and sauce.

(Recipe courtesy MrFood.com.)

Tags: Holiday cooking · Recipes: What's Cooking!

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