Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jewish Brisket with Onion Gravy or My Mother's Brisket (but not really)



This post was written December 27, 2011. I think it was the 5th post I published. The recipe remains as good today, as it did then. Here are some new pics, but the writing remains the same.

There are many things one can say about brisket, but dull is not one of them. Brisket is a piece of meat that just keeps on giving. Think about it. You’ve got your bbq, your stews, your Jewish versions, and you can even grind it into hamburger. And soup. Well, you see what I mean. In our house brisket was always the most talked, debated? about subject of the dinner table. Was it sliced correctly (no, not usually), whose fault was it, (usually dad’s, because my mother didn’t have faults), was it dry, (no, usually mushy and stringy due to being sliced wrong). Well, hopefully you get the picture. 

Thus I think it is easy to tell, that this was the Jewish version of brisket-the one where 5 people are eating, but there are 6 opinions on how to slice and bake it correctly. Was it the onion soup version, the tomato soup version, the Coca Cola version or was it just made up? Potatoes or carrots or both, and what about celery? Yes, brisket, is always something to look forward too. And just for the record my mother assures me, that she now has a wonderful brisket recipe. However I have now stopped eating meat, and that is another story. But this brisket remains, as my children and husband still have needs to be met.


And that brings me to Hanukkah. Yes, the festival of lights.  The night where the house smells like oil and one hopes that the smell of brisket masks the odor of a fast food restaurant. Hence also the need for cinnamon applesauce. This year it happened to be the night of my birthday, so we were lucky enough to add a chocolate cake to the mix. Which somehow leads us back to the brisket, which is made a day before the big celebration (OK no guessing, it wasn’t THAT big.) It is important to plan ahead when you make brisket. Brisket is easier to slice after it has been chilled and of course it leaves less to do, when you are frying all those latkes. It also gives you an opportunity to get out the electric knife. Yahoo!

Now hopefully you are thinking what I’m thinking; how to avoid all those brisket dilemmas? In my house I felt the need for a consistent and uncomplicated brisket. One that was  soothing to eat and heavenly to smell. Something that would fill my senses with warmth and goodness and love. (Yeah, getting a little sappy here) Well, I needed a new brisket recipe-one that would always turn out the same, taste the same and not cause the cook tsuris (trouble). And for that recipe (which I discovered when my children were just five), I have Ruth Reichel to thank. Yes, December, 2005 Gourmet, My Mother’s Brisket, saved this mother’s life. That good, that easy, that satisfying. Don’t change it, just eat it. You’ll thank me, I promise.


My Mother’s Brisket
Serves 8-12
Time to Make: About 30-45 minutes active and that includes slicing
Note: Please make this a day ahead for better slicing and flavor
Ingredients:
1 5-6 lb brisket, well trimmed (fatty briskets are for BBQ)
1 t salt divided
1 t pepper divided (I usually add more, because it is good when it is peppery)
Garlic powder to sprinkle
3 T oil, divided
3 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 t paprika

Pat brisket dry and season with 1/2 t salt and pepper and garlic powder. It is really hard to over season brisket. Place 1 T oil in Dutch oven and heat in a preheated 375 oven for 10 minutes. Place brisket in oil, fat side up and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Saute onions in remaining oil in a large skillet, until softened and beginning to turn golden. Reduce heat to medium and cook until deep golden and caramelized, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, paprika, and remaining salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Spoon over brisket. Place lid on Dutch oven leaving it a bit ajar. Bake for about 3 1/2 hours until tender. Add more water if necessary during cooking, but this has never happened to me.

Remove from oven and let cool for 1 hour. Remove brisket from sauce, scraping any clinging onions back into the sauce. Wrap brisket in foil and refrigerate overnight. Pour gravy from pan into a 4 cup measuring cup. Fat will rise to top overnight. Remove. The next day use an immersion blender to puree gravy until smooth. You should have at least 3 cups, if not add more water.

The next day slice brisket into thin slices if possible with an electric knife. Make sure to slice against the grain or your brisket will be stringy. Place some gravy into the bottom of a pan and then place brisket on top of that. Cover with rest of gravy and then seal pan with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. This will serve 8-10 people.

P.S. I must apologize for my pictures. I had about 16 people waiting to eat this brisket hovering over me while I was trying to get a few pictures. I finally decided that brisket is not really pretty. It just tastes really, really good. I also can confirm that there were not any leftovers.

                 


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29 comments:

  1. In our house brisket was always the most talked, debated? about subject of the
    dinner table. Was it sliced correctly (no, not usually), whose fault was it, (usually dad’s,
    because my mother didn’t have faults), was it dry, (no, usually mushy and stringy due to
    being sliced wrong). Well, hopefully you get the picture. Thus I think it is easy to tell, that
    this was the Jewish version of brisket-the one where 5 people are eating but there are 6
    opinions on how to slice and bake it correctly.


    Really nice! And a great recipe - thanks.

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  2. You are a kind man, Mr. Kitchen Riffs. Your comments always make my day! Make this recipe for sandwiches to go with your Chex Mix!

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  3. ohh yummy!!! going to try this when I make brisket again!

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  4. Hi Abbe, Happy Birthday!! love the onion gravy with the brisket. Happy Hanukkah!

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    1. Thanks Cheri! Hands down, this is a great recipe!

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  5. Good to see this recipe surface again! Isn't it fun to look back at old posts, and remember? This really is good stuff -- I need to make your mom's brisket. :-)

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    1. You should try it! Ruth Reichel is a great cook! This has withstood the test of time!

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  6. I wish I could reach in and grab the whole plate off the screen! Your beef brisket looks fantastic, Abbe.

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    1. I wish you could too, Angie! I'm going to have to freeze it now that Manservant left-for a change!

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  7. I love it, You had me with the Onion Gravy and it just got better.

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    1. Thanks Amy. The gravy is so caramelized and rich. It would make anything taste good!

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  8. Ha-ha :) Maybe not pretty but so good! You did a great job with the gravy and parsley garnish, though :) I love tender brisket!

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    1. Thanks Susan! Not the prettiest dish , but this sure beats the first photos I took! This is so tender and not at all dry-because of the gravy. It totally falls apart!

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  9. Happy Hanukkah Abbe and family..I love traditions..the recipes..the feelings:)

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    1. Thanks Monique~ Traditions are what make everything worthwhile! Though changing the traditional childhood brisket was a good change!

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  10. I think it's lovely! I bet is is wonderful :)

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  11. I've just been making brisket for a few years as it wasn't anything my mom ever prepared! Your recipe looks wonderful! Happy Hanukkah, my friend! xo

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    1. This is a great recipe! Tender, not dry and full of flavor. And so easy! Thanks Liz!

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  12. I'm so glad you re-ran this post. I love brisket and missed it the first time. I hope I don't need to tell you how much this Texas girl loves brisket. Your photos are mouthwatering.

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    1. Awww. Thanks Karen!This is totally different than a Texas brisket, but still makes great sandwiches!

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  13. Yum, I love recipes that have been passed down, tried and true and Ruth Reichel is always a good source!

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    1. Tis was a great one from day one. Thanks Chris!

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  14. ..You had me at electric knife, Abbe! I've never seen anyone use it at home here. I don't know anyone who has one either. Well, now I do.
    And I wonder if I should get one because it sounds like a fun thing to have. I know what I'll be doing this weekend - hunting the stores to see it firsthand.

    Thank you for the recipe - looks delicious!

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  15. Hi Abbe,

    I'm sure this must be one of your most loved recipes that you are happy to cook with it again and again. No worries with the pictures... the 16 guests are more important :D

    Zoe

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  16. Your brisket sounds tasty, Abbe, and I love the debates that accompany each one. These discussions are as big a part of a holiday's traditions as are the decorations. My family never argued at a holiday feast but they sure did discuss the food! Although I've never cooked a brisket, the thought of all of those wonderful sandwiches sure is tempting. Yum!

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  17. Happy Hanukkah Abbe. I have to admit, when Hanukkah starts, I'm always jealous I'm not Jewish! :) I've only made one brisket in my life and it was in the oven. I like your fatty tip, for the grill. I wonder if mine was fatty? Anyway, I've been dying to make another and this sounds like something I'd love to try. Thanks for sharing.

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