Saturday, September 11, 2010
This year, my husband and I hosted the traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner for the Jewish New Year in our home, inviting my in laws over for a home cooked holiday meal. A traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner includes elements of sweetness throughout the meal, to wish everyone a sweet new year. This year, we prepared several favorites that I have already shared here on A Kitchen In Brooklyn, including my mandarin orange caramelized almond salad, traditional apples and honey, my apple pie (which I make with local organic apples), and a new recipe for whoopie pies (coming soon!), among other foods. The main course of this meal was my brisket, which I prepared using a first cut Kosher brisket of the best quality (very lean and delicious). The different between my brisket and many other holiday briskets is that it is a loot lighter - a small amount of tomato paste is added to enhance the flavor and color, but the sauce is not heavy on cans of tomato puree like most other briskets. The result is delicious, light and enjoyable.
Sasha's Braised Holiday Brisket
31/2 to 51/2 lbs of first cut Kosher brisket
salt and pepper to taste
3 T canola oil, plus more if needed
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 cups good quality red table wine
4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 bal leaves
1 lb of parsnips, chopped
25 baby carrots
1 T balsamic vinegar
4-5 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
Season both sides of the brisket to taste with salt and pepper. Using a large dutch oven, heat the canola oil and sear the brisket on both sides for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the brisket and set aside for now. Add the onions and garlic to the pan (and a bit more canola oil if needed). Cook stirring on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add the red wine, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary and bring to a boil. The add the brisket and vegetables to the dutch oven.
Place the covered dutch oven in the oven, preheated to 325 degrees. Cool until the brisket is done and falls apart with a fork - this took us about 2 hours for a 3 1/2 lb brisket, but could take up to three hours if you use a larger cut of meat.
Remove the brisket and the vegetables (you can discard the parsnips at this point, as they are only to add flavor). Let the remaining sauce stand in a pan for 10 minutes. The skim off the fat and reduce the sauce by half on medium high heat, for about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar to the sauce. Slice the meat with an electric knife (my husband does this part), slicing against the grain. Serve immediately with the remaining vegetables and the sauce.