Judy’s Brisket

My good friend Judy Feder gave me her recipe for brisket nearly ten years ago, and it’s a slightly old-fashioned preparation. And yet it’s simple, easy, and altogether delicious. I’ve made this for Passover and other holidays a number of times over the past several years and I’ve tweaked it slightly from time to time. Yesterday was not a holiday, but I was craving that robust, tender, and fatty beefiness that only slow-cooked brisket provides. I wanted comfort food. And Judy’s brisket is one of the most comforting dishes I can think of.

Meat & Two Veg.

You will need:

1 4-pound “first cut” brisket
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cups ketchup
2 packs of Lipton onion soup mix, “beefy” flavor if possible
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons flour

Lotsa brisket!

Do this:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Choose a baking dish (I like Pyrex) that will accommodate your brisket and add onions in a thin layer. To the ketchup add all other ingredients except for flour and combine well to create a paste. Rub this paste all over the brisket on both sides and place brisket on top of onions. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for four hours.

Remove dish from oven and, keeping it wrapped in foil, allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove brisket from sauce and place on a cutting board, preferably with a drainage groove. With a slotted spoon remove from the pan all the onions, which will have reduced to a sludge-like state. A very delicious sludge-like state, so don’t chuck it.

Strain the remaining sauce through a medium-fine sieve and put into a small pot. Whisk in the flour rapidly and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the sauce thickens slightly, about three minutes, whisking gently but consistently. Stir some of the reduced onions into the sauce. Turn heat off and cover sauce until ready for service.

Meanwhile, slice the brisket across the grain into thin strips with a very sharp carving knife. Lay slices on a platter and cover with sauce. Alternatively, put slices back into the Pyrex pan, cover with sauce, cover with foil, and keep in a 200 degree oven until dinnertime!

I served this with mashed potatoes and some garlicky green beans. Brisket is pretty versatile though; any starch and veggie accompaniments will do. 

Finally, however good the brisket is when you first serve it, it’s invariably yummier the next day. As a matter of fact, Regina ate some for breakfast this morning!

Tip: The next day, try it as a sandwich with a little barbecue sauce! Delicious!

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