Mildly sweet and very rich, this recipe's secrets lie in its unusual preparation and the addition of pears to the vegetable mix.
Because there is so much liquid, you'll need a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven or ovenproof/flameproof casserole. You can use two 3-pound briskets if you can't find a single large one.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/4 cup Passover cake meal, such as Manischewitz brand
- 5 to 6 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 4 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 firm Anjou pears (unpeeled), cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 7 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 3/4 cups dry red wine
- 2/3 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a work surface.
Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the thyme and the Passover cake meal in a small bowl. Lightly coat both sides of the brisket, shaking off any excess seasoned flour.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the foil.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and pears and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside. (You should have about 12 1/2 cups of cooked vegetables and fruit.)
Add the broth, wine and honey to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to combine. Return the brisket to the pot. Cover and place in the oven. Cook, without removing the lid, for 2 1/2 hours. Add the vegetable mixture and cook, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the meat is fork-tender.
Place a wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the brisket to the rack.
Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the vegetable mixture to a large covered dish to keep warm.
Strain and reserve the cooking liquid from the Dutch oven; return the liquid to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half. (It should be syrupy enough to coat the back of a spoon.)
Cut the brisket across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Return the meat and its juices to the sauce. To serve, either add the warm vegetable mixture to the sauce or serve alongside the sauced brisket.
From "Invitation to Dinner: Abigail Kirsch's Guide to Elegant Entertaining and Delicious Dinners at Home" with David Nussbaum (Broadway Books, 1998).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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