Perfect Passover Recipes: Brisket

April 3, 2014

For our third recipe in our Passover series with Meal and a Spiel, we tackle brisket.  In my opinion, it's not Passover unless there is brisket on the table.  The meat is cooked low and slow until it becomes fork tender.  It is served with potatoes and it's cooking juices - absolute perfection!

Recipe from Elana Horwich
For 8-10 hungry people plus leftovers

1 6-8 pound brisket, kosher and/or antibiotic, hormone free
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 28 oz. can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
2-3 stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
2-3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves peeled garlic, whole
2 bay leaves • 2-3 branches of rosemary
2-3 stems of fresh thyme (if you have)
5-6 fresh basil leaves (if you have)
1/2 bottle wine (an oaked chardonay or medium bodied red  like chianti or whatever leftover wine you have in kitchen)
Homemade or store bought chicken broth (if needed for more liquid, or just more wine- you want brisket to be just about covered with liquid)
salt- about 2 very generous teaspoons
extra virgin olive oil
5 or 6 russet potatoes, quartered

The day or two before:

Preheat oven to 325 F.  

Heat a dutch oven over a medium flame. When hot add olive oil. Put the brisket in on one side to brown, a few minutes and then turn to brown on the other side. (One side will have a lot of fat and you are trying to brown the fat-less parts if any.) Remove brisket and set aside.  If there is too much melted fat for your taste, remove a little before continuing.  Put in onions and cook until translucent.  Put the brisket back in fat side up.  Top with the carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, and basil.

The next step can get messy but its fun. If you prefer use a knife for a neater system. Take out the tomatoes, one by one,  and crush using your hand. Watch out for spurting juice. Pour in all juices from can.  Add wine (and broth if you feel necessary to mostly cover meat.).  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Cover well and stick in oven for 4-5 hours or longer at an even lower temperature.  When your brisket cuts itself with a fork, it is done.  Take out of oven and let sit to cool a bit.  Take brisket out of juices and let cool completely. When cool, refrigerate it covered.

In the meantime put the potatoes in the juice of the brisket in dutch oven and put on stove, covered, over medium flame, until potatoes are soft and cooked.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Save all brisket juices.

Next Day: 

Once cold, use a knife to slice off all the fat from the brisket. Then slice the brisket against the grain into ¼ inch pieces. Place “in order” in a casserole dish fit for the oven. Add potatoes if there is room or put potatoes in separate casserole dish.  If you think the brisket juices should be thicker, boil them down a bit on the stove. Then when cool, you can cover the meat and potatoes with the sauce.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Day of:

When you are ready to serve, you can heat up the brisket in one of two ways.  Place the casserole dish dishes with potatoes and meat, covered VERY well in heavy duty aluminum foil or double wrapped in regular foil, and bake on 350 for almost an hour until brisket and potatoes are well heated through. Place on serving platter, top with remaining juice and serve.

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