This recipe for Brisket with Ginger, Orange Peel, and Tomato from Joan Nathan's Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous is adapted from Daniel Rose, a Chicago chef who moved to Paris to open Spring Restaurant. While brisket isn't readily available in French butcher shops, this recipe pairs Rose's French technique and flavors with a decidedly American cut of meat.
Braising brisket with sweet elements is pretty typical Jewish holiday fare—my grandmother used to braise hers with a can of Coke and a bottle of chili sauce. But Rose's version is more elegant, with flavors that can almost be described as light (if you can ever call brisket light). The lemon and orange zest permeates the meat with bright citrus, the cider vinegar and white wine add a slightly sour note, and the ginger lends the tiniest kick. And like any brisket recipe worth its salt, it comes out of the oven exactly two and a half hours later fork-tender, ready to be sliced, sauced, and served with the sweet carrots that have been cooking in the braising liquid.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous to give away this week.
- One 3- to- 5- pound veal or beef brisket
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 small spring onions, trimmed and halved, or 2 medium onions, thickly sliced
- 6 carrots, peeled
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups veal, beef, or chicken stock
- 3 small tomatoes, halved
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs fresh parsley, plus ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- One ½- inch slice of fresh ginger
- Green top of 1 leek
- 2 lemons
- 2 oranges
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season the brisket with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Pour the oil into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the meat for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove, and set aside. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic cloves to the Dutch oven, cooking until they are just beginning to soften, adding more oil if necessary. Raise the heat, pour in the cider vinegar, and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the white wine and continue stirring, allowing the liquid to reduce for a few minutes.
Put the meat back in the pot, along with the stock. Bring to a simmer, and add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, parsley sprigs, ginger, and leek top. Using a straight peeler, remove the zest in long strips from one of the lemons and one of the oranges. Add to the pot. Cover, and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 275°F, and continue cooking for 2 to 2½ more hours, or until tender.
Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot. Discard the citrus peels, thyme and parsley sprigs, ginger, bay leaf, and leek top. If cooking in advance, let the pot cool, and refrigerate the brisket in the sauce.