Let’s be honest the brisket trend of 2022 is only cooking bigger and better in 2023.
You don’t have to be Jewish to love brisket, or from a beef manufacturing state. What is brisket? How do you know you are buying brisket and preparing it accurately?
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. You hear about first, second and other cuts. First cuts usually are leaner, less fat and less cartilage. Personally, it’s my favorite, but brisket connoisseurs swear by the fattier second cuts.
Briskets can feed a family of four and a party of several dozen guests. Even in these harder economic times, briskets can be bought on sale and served as a treat and delicacy.
So many ask me about “Jewish” brisket as opposed to Texas brisket or southern brisket. Jewish brisket is most associated with traditional delicatessen restaurants. Thinly machine sliced pounds of beef surrounded by rye bread, coleslaw and pickled corned beef.
For Jews, brisket started as a traditional Eastern European Ashkenazi dish of braised beef, often served hot with a gravy and potato sides. Regardless of any food trend, ask multigenerational family members what they want to eat at a traditional Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah or Passover dinner, and you will probably hear one word- brisket!
There are hundreds, if not thousands of brisket recipes online and printed in cookbooks. There are thousands of brisket cooking contests and tastings all over the world. Trending now are burnt brisket tips and oriented flavor inspired briskets with sticky sauces.
For our purposes here, I am going to share the easiest, simplest and most traditional Jewish recipe for brisket that even a first time chef can successfully execute and serve to guests.
Even the preparation is easy. The biggest challenge is time.
What you need:
A brisket of about 4-6 pounds (you decide the cut and try to use a fresh brisket)
Hungarian sweet paprika ( you can use smoked )
Salt and pepper to taste but it’s optional
All ingredients found in every international supermarket.
The secret to a great versus a good brisket is the necessary time needed to fully complete each step. More is better.
I gently fully rub the spices on every side of the meat and refrigerate overnight. I cook the brisket on 325 degrees for a minimum of 5 hours and don’t open the oven the first hour. Once cooked, and use meat thermometers, let it settle and cool off. Then, and only then, slice evenly against the grain of the meat.
One of my friends actually refrigerates the meat before hand slicing.
Your meat should have made enough of a gravy. Once you remove the meat, take the liquid and add to a pot with some Marsala wine and bring to a boil. No need to thicken or add starches, but you can. Pour the finished sauce into a glass bowl and use a strainer to clean out bits and fat.
Brisket is delicious warm or at room temperature. You could probably eat the leftovers for up to four days. I never have leftovers around for more than one day.
If you are creative, make homemade cranberry sauce with only fresh berries or a chunky Apple chutney to serve over it.
Or, serve with a homemade coleslaw. Not the bag and mayonnaise kind, but one with other flavors like sriracha and honey with seeds and shredded vegetables added.
However you like your meat, brisket should be added to your menus in 2023. And, you don’t have to be Jewish with Cindy to enjoy them.
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Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org