If you ever think that passion for food in our United States of America has gone the way of our current commander in chief or a good girdle, then think again when it comes to the holidays. My mother decided that we were going to be vegetarians when I was about eight. Not for a minute, not for a nano second did it ever cross anyone’s mind that we wouldn’t have a 20 pound turkey on Thanksgiving. Turkey on Thanksgiving crossed all vegetarian lines.
Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. For dinner–in Jewish households around the nation–there is no messing with the Brisket.
A Turkey or Brisket, or whatever one’s tradition might be–feeds the soul in a way that few things do in a such a dependable way.
My menu of choice:
Chicken soup with with coriander dumplings
Potato pancakes (rosti) or mashed
Apple salad with endive, toasted walnuts and dried apricots
Sauted carrots and leeks
Sauteed wild mushrooms with port
Oven roasted onions with thyme, bay leaf, olive oil, and a dash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper
For a beautiful brisket:
In a medium dish, mix 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon each of salt and sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons of dry mustard and a good grind of black pepper. Rub on both sides of a 6 pound brisket. Slice 2 yellow onions into medium slices and arrange half over a sheet of aluminum foil that has been set in a baking pan. You are going to want the edges of the foil to extend beyond the pan, so that you can pull them over the meat to make a package. Add 8 cloves of garlic. a few sprigs of thyme and 2 bay leaves. Set the brisket on top. Cover the meat with the rest of the onions and another 8 cloves of garlic. Pour a cup of water over the meat, and close the foil. Bake 4 or 5 hours until fork tender. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat and serve with pan juices.