Nothing says ‘holiday’ better than brisket


As a kid, I learned to expect brisket at almost every holiday dinner, except for Thanksgiving. Even if we went to the home of one of my six aunts, we had brisket. Usually, it was the brisket recipe du jour, made with coke or onion soup or potatoes and carrots. I was sure there were only about four or five ways to make a brisket and that my mother and my aunts knew them all and rotated recipes each holiday. As we got older, my cousins and I often tried to guess which kind would come out of the oven.

So here we are more than a decade into the new millennium and, still, nothing says “holiday” like a brisket cooked to perfection. The old recipes have, for the most part, disappeared and have been replaced by sweet and sour, hot and spicy, and marinated to perfection. There are more brisket recipes than one could fit into even a large cookbook, and if you google “brisket,” you get more than 6 million sites to look at. The second site, after Wikipedia, is “Beef Brisket – Jewish Cooking.” That says it all: We Jews are the royalty of brisket!

Note: To easily check if a brisket is done, insert two forks going in opposite directions. Pull gently, and the meat should give easily with no resistance.

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