Why do Jews love brisket? (1) It’s cheap. (2) It’s good. Honestly, brisket is a brilliant cut if meat – it’s versatile, easy to cook and great value for money. Salted brisket is famously cooked on Jewish festivals served with rye, horseradish and pickles (my mother’s recipe being undoubtedly the best). Paying tribute, I have fired up this traditional delicacy – combining an array of smoky spices with slow cooking, to guarantee a meltingly tender mouthful. Served with all the trimmings, it is the perfect centerpiece for a festive spread!
- LEVEL: Easy
- Prep: 25 Mins
- Cook: 6-7 Hours
- SERVES: 12-14
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
*Apologies for the hefty ingredients list. Fingers crossed, if you’re anything like me you should have the majority in your store cupboard!
*The best dish to use is a large flame-proof casserole dish, if you don’t own one, use a frying pan to do all the searing & sweating/ stove work, and then transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish.
3kg piece of beef brisket, rolled (ask your butcher)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 red onions, roughly chopped
120g carrots, diced (approx. 2 cm chunks)
2tbsp. Spanish smoked paprika
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp. black peppercorns
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you can’t take the heat!)
2 tbsp. treacle
1 tbsp. English mustard powder
75g dark brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp.
60ml red wine vinegar, plus 2 tbsp.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5 bay leaves, dried
5 red chilies
250ml. beef stock
250ml. passata (or tinned tomatoes)
500g sauerkraut (store bought)
600g pickled cucumbers (store bought)
sea salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
40g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish
300ml soured cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/ 325F/ Gas 3.
2. Season & Brown. Heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large flame proof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Season the brisket well with salt & pepper, place inside the heated dish and brown all over (10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the pan and place on a board/ plate.
3. Add a second tbsp. of vegetable oil to the dish, marginally lower the heat and add the onions & carrots. Stirring often, leave on the heat for 10 minutes to soften/sweat.
4. Whilst the veg is nicely sweating, in a bowl mix the remaining oil, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, mustard powder, treacle, 2 tbsp. vinegar and 2tbsp. sugar. Coat the meat in the marinade, saving approx. 2 ½ tbsp. for later. Leave to one side.
5. To the casserole dish, add the remaining vinegar and sugar, the bay leaves, red chilies, peppercorns, garlic, stock, passata and Worcestershire sauce, Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Then add the meat. Place the brisket inside the casserole dish and cover with a lid (or aluminium foil).
7. Place in the oven and cook for 5 ½ hours.
8. After 5 ½ hours, baste with the remaining marinade, turn the meat over and remove the lid/ aluminium foil. Add some water if all the liquid has evaporated. Leave uncovered and cook for a further ½ hour – 1 ½ hours, until the meat dark, sticky and tender.
9. Remove from the oven, wrap with aluminium foil and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.
10.Remove the pickles from their jar and lay flat on a serving platter, to form a bed for the brisket. Remove the brisket and place on top of the pickles, spoon over sauce from the casserole dish.Use forks to shred the meat. Garnish with sauerkraut and parsley. Serve with heaps of sour cream and you won’t regret it!
My wonderful fiancé & partner in the kitchen, the one and only, Farmer J, coming to the rescue!
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