I have taken two weeks to return to New York City to get all those appointments I missed while quarantining in Connecticut. I haven't really been cooking and have relied on take out and prepared food in the neighborhood which accounts for a relatively long time without posting. We did decide to stay in NYC for Rosh Hashanah and so I have been cooking again. I rarely make brisket, but always do for the holiday. My method is the same as my mothers and is really very minimal. No tomato sauce, Coca Cola, or apple juice. I did not make this up. There really are recipes out there that use these. The brisket gives off a lot of liquid and has a wonderful, natural beefy gravy.
The most challenging part of making brisket always seems to be getting the meat. I am always in search of a "first cut" or "thin cut" piece of meat that weighs about 3.5 lbs. This cut always seems to shrink a great deal so I like to start with a large piece. This year I ordered from a delivery service and would up with two separate pieces. Fortunately, one is close to 3.5 pounds. The brisket is a cut of meat that starts out thin and then has a second, fatty layer on top. The first or thin cut has less of this part of the brisket.
After salting the meat I sear it on the fatty side in a small amount of oil until it is nicely browned and then brown the other side. Set the meat aside and add about 4 medium chopped onions, or two very large ones and sauté them until they are browned. The next step is to deglaze the pot with about 1/3 cup water and return the meat to the pot and cover. I usually add some peppercorns and a bay leaf and let it cook. I remember that my mother used to put in a dried red pepper that was about the size of my pinky finger but I never see these anywhere. The cooking time can be variable depending on how thick the meat is, but 2 to 3 hours is usually enough. I think it can be done on top of the stove or in the oven ant 325. It is done when a fork goes into it easily. I like to cook it well in advance of dinner and to let it cool. I then slice it and reheat it with the gravy.
Goldie loves brisket but I am careful not to let her have any of the onions.