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Jewish Braised Brisket for Thanksgiving – Geshmak!





  • Braised Brisket With
  • Thirty-Six Cloves if Garlic

by Jayne Cohen

  • March 2009


  • Ingredients

  • About 36 fat unpeeled garlic cloves (1 2/3 to 2 cups) or an equivalent amount of smaller cloves, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • A first-or second-cut beef brisket (about 5 pounds), trimmed of excess fat, wiped with a damp paper towel, and patted dry

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or good-quality low-sodium purchased

  • 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, or 2 teaspoons dried leaves

  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon chopped leaves

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest





Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Drop the garlic cloves into a small

saucepan of boiling water for

30 seconds.

Drain immediately.

Peel as soon as the garlic is

cool enough to handle.

Set aside on paper towels to dry.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high

heat in a heavy-bottomed roasting

pan or casserole large enough to

accommodate the meat in one layer.

Use two burners, if necessary.

Add the brisket and brown

well on both sides,

about 10 minutes.

Transfer the brisket to a

platter and set aside.

(Or brown the meat

under the broiler:

place the brisket,

fat side up,

on a foil-lined broiler pan

under a preheated broiler.

Broil for 5 to 6 minutes

on each side, until browned.

Don’t allow it to develop

a hard, dark crust,

which might make the

meat tough or bitter.

Move the meat around as necessary,

so it sears evenly.)

Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon

of fat remaining in the pan and

add the garlic cloves.

Cook over medium heat,

stirring occasionally,

until the garlic edges

are tinged with gold.

Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan,

scraping up all the browned bits from

the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Add the stock, thyme,

and rosemary sprigs,

and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Salt and pepper the brisket

to taste on all sides,

and add it to the pan,

fat side up.

Spoon the garlic cloves

over the meat.

Place the brisket in the oven,

cover (if you have no lid,

use heavy-duty foil),

and cook, basting every half-hour,

until the meat is fork tender,

2 1/2 to 3 hours or longer.

(As the meat cooks,

periodically check that the

liquid is bubbling gently.

If it is boiling rapidly,

turn the oven down to 300°F.)

The brisket tastes best

if it is allowed to rest,

reabsorbing the juices

lost during braising,

and it’s easiest to defat the gravy

if you prepare the meat ahead

and refrigerate it until

the fat solidifies.

That is the method I use,

given here,

but the gravy can be prepared

by skimming the fat in

the traditional way, if you prefer.




If you go that route though,

do let the meat rest in the pan

sauce for at least an hour.

Cool the brisket in the pan sauce,

cover well with foil, and refrigerate

until the fat congeals.

Scrape off all solid fat.

Remove the brisket from the

pan and slice thinly across the grain.

Prepare the gravy:

Bring the braising mixture

to room temperature,

then strain it,

reserving the garlic and

discarding the thyme and

rosemary sprigs.

Skim and discard as much

fat as possible from the liquid.

Puree about one half of the

cooked garlic with 1 cup of the

defatted braising liquid in a

food processor or a blender.

(If you want a smooth gravy,

puree all of the

cooked garlic cloves.)

Transfer the pureed mixture,

the remaining braising liquid,

and the rest of the cooked

garlic to a skillet.

Add the chopped rosemary,

minced garlic,

and lemon zest.

Boil down the gravy

over high heat, uncovered,

to the desired consistency.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Rewarm the brisket in the

gravy until heated through.

Arrange the sliced brisket

on a serving platter.

Spoon some of the hot gravy

all over the meat and pass

the rest in a separate sauce boat.





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