December 11, 2009

Best Brisket Ever

O Hanukkah, the festival of meat. Tonight we celebrated in an exceptional way - all gathered around the Hanukkah tree eating brisket and latkes, fire roaring, children opening presents. It was like a Rockwellberg painting. My brisket came out exceptional and I was totally winging it. Here's what I did:

1 3-4 lb brisket
liberal amounts of salt and pepper
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
3 parsnips peeled and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup of red wine
3 cups of chicken stock
1 small can of tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350. Salt and pepper both sides of the brisket big time. Meat loves salt. In a dutch oven or cast iron pot, heat a good amount of olive oil and brown the brisket starting fat side down. Brown both sides, for about 3-4 minutes per side to seal in the juicy juices. Transfer to a plate. Keep the fat going and saute the onions. When onions are cooked, deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for a minute, scraping the bottom of the pan for the yummy bits. Add chicken stock, garlic (whole cloves), thyme, tomato paste and cook for a minute or two until everything is combined. Add back in the brisket. The brisket should be almost submerged in liquid. If it's not, add more chicken stock. Plop the lid on the pot and put it in the oven for 1.5 hours at 350. Then, add the carrots and parsnips and cook for another 1.5 hours at 250. Total cooking time 3 hours. Let the brisket sit in the pot to rest for a while. When you are ready to eat, slice up and serve with lots of the gravy on top. Use potato latkes to sop up the juices. Plenty of red wine down the gullet too. Heaven. Mazel. Tov.

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