Today's recipe from this week's featured cookbook, Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking, is for Boiled Brisket. Boiling beef, of course, doesn't make for the greatest-looking dish, but if you've ever had boiled brisket, you know that beauty is only skin deep--or that it's in the mouth of the beholder. A bonus with this dish is that you can serve the broth over lukshen (fine egg noodles) as a first course.
- 2 to 3 pounds flanken or brisket, preferably deckle
- 8 to 10 cups cold water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 large leek, halved and well washed
- 1 large or 2 or 3 small parsnips
- About 15 sprigs fresh dill, plus some for garnish
- About 15 springs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Croutons or soup nuts, for garnish(optional)
- 1/2 large celery root, peeled and halved
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- Red or white horseradish, for accompaniment
- Mustard, for accompaniment (optional)
- In a 5-quart pot, combine the meat with enough cold water to cover it by 1/2 inch and the salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer gently about 20 minutes, skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.
- When simmering liquid is no longer very cloudy, add the carrots, leek, parsnip, celery root, dill, and parsley. The water should barely cover everything. Add more water as necessary. Simmer very gently at least 2 hours more or until the meat is fork tender. Alternatively, once the water comes to a simmer, you may place the pot in a preheated 250°F oven for 2 to 3 hours.
- The soup (without the meat) can be served as broth with pieces of the vegetables in it, but it can also be puréed together, after any of the herbs are discarded. Serve the puréed soup with fresh dill and croutons. Serve the meat as a separate course from the soup, sprinkled with coarse sea salt and horseradish or mustard or both as condiments.