Another brisket of mine with wacky ingredients that comes out to die for! Just ask all the guests that were at my Seder Demo last night: They were falling like flies! So sorry about indulging in some un-ladylike swagger!
This star was recently born when I was tinkering with coffee, molasses and bourbon, a frequent combo in barbecues and short ribs, as a possible base for my brisket sauce, and I know it sounds like it would put some more hair on the chests of lumberjacks; but lo and behold, the results were fork-tender meat, and a wonderfully dark, balanced and unctuous sauce, much more toned down than the seemingly reckless sum of its parts.
To adapt the dish for Passover I simply substitute honey for the molasses, and brandy for the bourbon, and it worked just as gloriously. Go for it! PS: Please don’t believe anyone who will tell you first-cut brisket is not as moist and tender as its second-cut fat an unappealing slab of a counterpart: they will never say that again after they taste this!
in response to FAQ: No problem freezing the brisket. Here’s how I like to do it: Slice the brisket. Place the slices side by side vertically in a pan, tightly packed together like a deck of cards, just as if you were serving it now, and pour your gravy over it. cover the pan air-tight, and freeze. To reheat: place the frozen pan at 250 degrees for about 1 hour, or a little longer, until heated through. Or: leave the pan out to thaw a few hours, then reheat at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, or a little longer, until heated through.
- onions - 2 large, sliced very thin
- brisket - 6-7 lbs, first cut. Rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
- instant coffee powder - 3 tbsp, decaf OK, mixed with 2 cups warm water
- bourbon - 1/2 cup (Passover: Brandy)
- molasses - 1/3 cup (Passover: Honey)
- apple cider vinegar - 1/4 cup
- olive oil - 1/2 cup
- pepper - 1 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the onions in a pan just large enough to fit the meat. Place the brisket on top of the onions. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl, and pour the mixture evenly over the meat. Cover tightly with foil, and bake 2 hours. Turn the brisket over, and bake uncovered 1 more hour. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and wait about 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile strain the cooking liquids into a small sauce pan, pressing hard on the solids (and discarding them), and reduce on a high flame to about 2 ½ cups. Let the brisket cool slightly. Slice thin against the grain. In places where the brisket is very long, cut across first before slicing. Pour the gravy on top.