Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

A Tasket, a Tisket, Please Pass the Brisket

It’s that time of year when I crave brisket.

My mother would always make a brisket around Chanukkah along with potato latkes and applesauce. I yearn for that good European-Jewish food that I grew up with.

I can count on one hand all the times I’ve made brisket. I just don’t seem to have the knack to choose an adequate brisket. I seem to cook it to death so it looses that juicy tenderness and then I never seem to have the right knife to cut it with. I guess I can pull it apart Tom Jones style but I’m just not in the mood.

According to Wikipedia, brisket is is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. While all meat animals have a brisket, the term most often describes beef or veal. Brisket is primary used in barbeque and on the Jewish table.

Award winning cookbook author Joan Nathan thinks that briskets should be tenderized and braised with a long, slow cook. And like my mother who never made gravy, Nathan says the brisket’s own juices should be used as gravy.

Here’s a recipe from the El Emeth Cookbook for delicious brisket:

Tipsy Brisket

5 lbs brisket, 2 onions, 1/4 cup water, 1 can of beer, seasonings, sliced celery from 4 stalks, 1 cup chili sauce

Season beef with seasoning salt and garlic. Pace onions and celery on top of seasoning beef in an open roasting plan. Add water. Bake at 325-degrees until almost tender about 2 hours 30 minutes. Pour beer over brisket, cover pan and continue roasting until tender for about another hour. Remove fat from juices, slice meat, and return to sauce. Yields: 10 servings.

Cold brisket makes a great sandwich with a smear of Dijon or hot & spicy mustard or as my father used to eat — horseradish mustard — on good crusty bread.

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