Saturday, August 19, 2006

In Search of the Perfect Brisket

In the 30 years of our marriage, I have made some God-awful brisket – too sweet, too tough, falling apart. It was never at all right. And a good brisket is definitely the mark of a successful Jewish homemaker!

So when the following message came 10 days ago:


At the Spring Auction you signed up to participate in the First Great Temple Micah Brisket Bake-Off to be held on SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, from 7-9 pm at the Temple.

There are three ways to participate: 1. Enter a brisket, a kugel or a cheesecake in the bake-off competition. 2. Come to the Temple with a huge appetite to taste the briskets, kugels, cheesecakes (as well as salad and drinks) that others have entered and to vote on the ones you like best. 3. Best of all worlds, do both--enter an item as well as taste and vote on the items (no cheating).

I quickly concluded that if I was going to enter this contest, it would have to be brisket. I’ve never made a kugel and I suck at cheesecake.

Given our lack of previous success, I suggested that my husband find a recipe on the Internet. He printed out about 10. I picked the one that had the fewest ingredients and seemed the least complicated. We agreed on a few substitutions in the way of ingredients. I bought the brisket at Costco and chopped up the onion and garlic on Thursday night, leaving him with the task of assembling and cooking it on Friday, since I remember reading somewhere that brisket is better if cooked the day before.

When I came home from work, there was that great smell that results only from a slow-cooked brisket. Neither of us had the nerve to taste it.

We followed the instructions and brought our brisket cold and unsliced to Temple Micah on Saturday night, where it was then sliced and heated up in the oven.

The group of 30 participants each received a plate with 3 different briskets, each sporting a colored toothpick. A separate smaller plate contained a 4th. We tasted each and then cast the toothpick of our favorite into the brisket bowl. Since I hadn’t tasted ours, I wasn’t even sure which one I was voting for, but I definitely preferred it over the other 3. Apparently a lot of other people also voted for the RED toothpick brisket, which turned out to be ours! Finally after all these years, a winning brisket I can make for my mother-in-law...

For anyone who’s interested, here is the recipe:

BBQ Brisket

5-pound brisket
2 bottles of Charlie Beiggs Maine Apple BBQ Sauce (the secret ingredient)
2 onions, chopped
1-1/2 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Borsari seasoned salt
Red wine

Chop onions and garlic and put in the bottom of a roasting pan. Lay brisket on top of onions. Season brisket on both sides and lay in pan, fat side up. Put onion soup mix on top. Pour BBQ sauce on top. Fill one BBQ sauce bottle with a combination of red wine (3/4) and water (1/4) and put in pan. Cook in 325 degree oven for 3-4 hours.

Refrigerate over night. One hour before serving, take out and slice. Put slices back in sauce and reheat.

This recipe combines EASY with DELICIOUS – definitely a winning combination.


Blogger Kate said...

From you and David the perfect brisket was born!

This recipe will go into the Hannukah section for next winter's meal with the kids.

Thanks & congrats to both of you!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Mmmmm, that sounds good! Congratulations!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I'll have to try that.

The Internet is a great place to get recipe ideas from (as long as you can wade through the pop-ups many of these "free" recipe sights have).

8:36 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I've never made a brisket... I think you just inspired me, even though I'm a veg.

11:06 AM  

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