Monday, April 9, 2012

Order (Seder)

Passover is by far my favorite Jewish Holiday.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are great too. (Note: Yes, I am reformed, there are a bajillion other Jewish holidays buuuuut, we kinda skip over em.) And don't get me wrong, I love the fall. I remember strolling down Macomb Street, Washington, DC with the leaves turning colors scattered on the side walks as we would trek from satellite parking to the Synagogue. And of course I love the service, the Rabbis processing through the congregation in their robes and the fashionably but inappropriately dressed late comers to scurry through the sanctuary.

Anyways, Passover. I won't go into the story. But I love it, not only do we celebrate spring but also it's a time to think deeply about the present day social injustices, which plague our world. Oberlin, is most definitely not devoid of these thoughts, in fact I spend four hours a week confronting many of these issues in my Environmental Policy class. But it's different to celebrate and come together in this time to such an ancient sacred shared history. There's something that brings Jewish people together, at least in my experiences. When ever I've met someone else Jewish it really is some how this instant bond, immediate connection. It is difficult to explain.

This year was my second Seder away from home and by home I mean away from my mothers amazing cooking. My girlfriends and also neighbors (yes, we do sometimes borrow sugar, or pots or cake pans...) held a small Seder on Saturday night. It was full of food and laughter and insight. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have such people in my life.

But really the whole reason behind this post, is that I cooked my very first Brisket! It wasn't quite up to my mother's par. But I'd say I did a damn god job for a first time cooking a three-and-a-half pound hunk of meat. Everyone said it was good! I'm relatively pleased.

Beef Brisket

4 lb Brisket, rubbed with salt and fresh ground pepper
4 cups white wine
2 cans (14oz) beef broth
4 small onions, cut into rings
3 cloves of garlic, halved
salt, to taste

In the bottom of a large sauce pan on medium heat brown the onions and garlic. Remove and set aside.

Turn the heat up high place the brisket fat side down and sear for 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Flip and sear opposite side.

Add the onions and garlic back in. Pour in the wine and beef broth add salt. Bring to a simmer and cover tightly. Braise for 1-1.5 hours then flip and continue for another 1-1.5 hours. Or until a fork can easily be inserted and removed.

Remove the meat and onions from the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce half the liquid and pour over the meat to serve.

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