I traditionally like to make a brisket – pan seared and oven roasted with onions, carrots, and potatoes – on Erev Yom Kippur (Yom Kippur Eve). Of course, I like to make brisket every so often during the year – holiday or no – but especially for those of us observing the fast on Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) this Saturday, a hearty meal will be required so we’ll be able to stay vertical from sunset on Friday until three stars are observed in the sky on Saturday night. Best of all, it practically cooks itself!
1 3 lb. brisket
2 large cloves garlic
2 – 3 Tbs. olive or canola oil
Ground black pepper
4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds across
5-6 medium potatoes (reds or golds are best), washed & cut into quarters
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 375º F. Rinse the brisket under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Peel the garlic and cut into slivers. With a sharp paring knife, cut deep slits all over the brisket and stuff a garlic sliver into each slit. Sprinkle that side of the meat with a little kosher salt.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold the meat and vegetables, and able to withstand oven temperatures of at least 375º) or a roaster on top of the stove over high heat. If using a roaster, you’ll probably need to use 2 burners.
Place the brisket, salted side down, into the pan and sprinkle additional kosher salt and a little ground black pepper on the raw side. Turn it over when browned a deep mahogany color, and brown the other side. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the vegetables around the meat, add the coffee and water, and season the vegetables with a little additional salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, or if you don’t have a lid, use a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, crimping the edges tightly.
Put the pan in the oven and cook for at least 2 hours, or when it’s fork-tender. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
*Hint: Cook this the day or night before you want to eat it, and refrigerate it when done and cooled. The brisket is sliced much easier when it’s cold. You can then lay the slices in the pan in its own jus, cover and heat at 350º F till heated through.
I find that coffee brings out the “beefiness” in beef, but no, it doesn’t taste like coffee!