Growing up in Uruguay, brisket (pecho) was a staple at every major festive occasion in my parents’ home and my mother’s brisket was served at least once, usually twice, during the sedorim. Aah, my mother’s brisket filled the house with its aroma, I remember the anticipation with which I waited to have itagain and again… Over the years I tried to find different versions of this old favorite and found many succulent variations, but last night’s version served at Lévana’s cooking demo far outshines most! Here she adapted her famous brisket to Passover by changing her deservedly famous recipe. She used honey instead of the usual molasses and brandy instead of bourbon Lévana has graciously agreed to share her recipe, notice the unusual ingredients:
- 2 large onions, sliced very thin
- 1 brisket. 6 to 7 pounds, first cut. Rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder, decaf OK, mixed with 2 cups warm water
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1/3 cup honey
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Scatter the onions in a pan just large enough to fit the meat.
- Place the brisket on top of the onions.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl, and pour the mixture evenly over the meat. Cover tightly with foil, and bake 2 hours.
- Turn the brisket over, and bake uncovered 1 more hour.
- Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and wait about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile strain the cooking liquids into a small sauce pan, pressing hard on the solids (and discarding them), and reduce on a high flame to about 2 ½ cups. Let the brisket cool slightly.
- Slice thin against the grain. In places where the brisket is very long, cut across first before slicing. Pour the gravy on top.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! I most certainly did and will again.