Cook the Book

Fall Brisket With Cider and Butternut Squash From 'The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home'

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[Photograph: Caren Alpert]

There are four brisket recipes in Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman's new cookbook, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home—one for each season. All are pot-roasted in flavorful sauces and packed to the brim with vegetables. The fall version is the most streamlined, containing little more than butternut squash, red onions, and cider-wine sauce spiked with garlic and thyme. It'd be a fine centerpiece to a Hanukkah dinner, or even Thanksgivukkah, if you're okay with eschewing the bird.

Why I picked this recipe: Simple, pot roasted brisket is a winner for holiday entertaining.

What worked: The sweet-and-savory wine and cider braising sauce was wonderfully warming and an excellent pair to the beef. I also appreciated the simplicity of the accompanying vegetables—bright orange squash and deep purple onions were really all this brisket needed.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: You could swap out the butternut for just about any winter squash (or potatoes and carrots, if you're a stickler for tradition). If you're serving more than 6, you could cook a bigger brisket. Increase the cooking liquid as needed to keep the meat mostly submerged in the pot.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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