As Anthony Bourdain said “Only Texans and Jews understand brisket.”
If you want something smoky and savory,head to Texas Get a side of mac and cheese and really enjoy some down home BBQ. However, if you want something a little saucier, a little softer, and a little sweeter, look to your Jewish friends. Think fall-apart-in-your-mouth beef swimming in a sweet and savory sauce with tender root vegetables. We don’t tamper with this recipe and we don’t ignore it.
We make it every Hanukkah and eat it with gusto.
My guess is, once you have this incredibly simple recipe, you will, too.
Brisket and Tsimmis
7 lbs. brisket (with the point and fat cap)
6 onions, sliced into rings
1 lb. carrots, cleaned and sliced into large chunks
1 lb. parsnips, cleaned and sliced into large chunks
1 large can tomato sauce
1 can beer
2 cups prune juice
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1. Cut the beef into pieces, if necessary, then place it fat side down in a BURNING HOT stockpot. You will hear it sizzle and sear. Let it rest for about 2 minutes, or until it becomes easily unstuck…
4. Turn off the stove and cover the pot with tinfoil, crimping down the edges tightly You want absolutely no steam to escape here. The whole point is that this is covered for hours and hours, braising and breaking down fat and connective tissues until the beef is soft enough to cut with a spoon. You can always cover the pot with a lid after the foil, but don’t skip the foil.
This is beef stew gone sweet. It is sweet potato pie gone savory. It is slightly malty form the beer and very earthy from the parsnips and sweet carrots. The onions simply swoon in submission to the tomatoey, beefy sauce, and the prunes pick up the irony, hearty taste of the beef. The beef itself is really soft and mild without being mushy or cottony – that’s what sealing that thick fat cap does. It protects the meat from losing flavor or texture. We eat this for breakfast lunch, and dinner the week after we make it – it actually gets better as it sits.