Course #2 of our Passover Dinner (the first I’ve ever made on my own) was yet another dish that’s brand-new to me: brisket. But I was excited to add my aunt Debbie’s recipe to my repertoire, because I have a big thing for inexpensive cuts of meat that you cook on low heat for ever and ever: I think they’re just incredibly flavorful and delicious, and love how virtually unscrewupable they are. I also love the fact that you start them in the morning and then basically forget about them all day long, and then poof: dinner is ready, and you barely did a thing.
This dish easily serves 4-6, and makes for some seriously good leftovers (try putting the meat between slices of white bread the next day, oh my god yum). You can also try making this in your slow-cooker; just remember that you’ll need about 8 hours of cooking if you do it that way.
(Click here for Course #1, Matzoh Ball Soup)
(I know, I thought the celery was a kind of weird addition, too. It’s really good, though.)
What You Need:
3 1/2 – 4lb first-cut brisket (mine was about 2 1/2lbs because that’s what my grocery store had)
Kosher salt & freshly-ground pepper
3 crushed garlic cloves (or garlic powder)
3 onions, sliced
A few celery stalks
A few baby carrots
1 large chopped tomato
1 bay leaf
1/2 small can tomato paste mixed with water (about half and half)
What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper. Spread over the garlic (or sprinkle garlic powder on generously). Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and brown on both sides. Transfer meat to a plate.
3. Add the onions to the pot and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).
4. Leave half of the onions in the Dutch oven. Place the brisket on top and cover with the remaining onions. Scatter the celery, carrots, tomatoes, and bay leaf around the meat. Pour the diluted tomato paste over the top of the vegetables and meat, and add a little more water to the pot if desired.
5. Cover and bake until the brisket is tender when pierced with a fork, about 3 1/2 hours, adding more liquid if the gravy evaporates.
(Obviously serve cupcakes afterwards.)