Barbara’s Brisket with Leek Latkes and Mama Grande’s Homemade Applesauce

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2008

My mother-in-law Barbara makes this incredible brisket for holiday meals.  If we can’t be at home with Matt’s family for the holidays, at least we can feel a little closer by eating the food we love.  We started this Rosh Hashanah meal with Matt’s favorite food ever — Barbara’s chicken soup with matzo balls.  We ate the soup with Challah.  Thankfully, the soup was the real thing since Barbara left some with us when she came to visit and it’s been waiting in the freezer for this special occasion.  That recipe is super double secret, but I will share her wonderful brisket recipe. I basically halved this recipe and cooked it for half as long because the brisket I used was a little under two pounds.  The brisket and the applesauce can both be made a day or more ahead of being served.

Barbara’s Brisket

4-5 lb. first or flat-cut brisket
3 large onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup water
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 325.  Slice onions and sauté in a little bit of oil until soft.  Remove from frying pan and sear brisket on both sides.  Season meat and rub with garlic.  Put into roasting pan with onions on top. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and water – pour over brisket.  Put bay leaves on top.  Cover tightly and bake at 325 for 3.5 to 4 hours.

Remove from oven.  Discard bay leaves.  Separate meat from gravy.  Mash gravy and onions through strainer. (I didn’t have a strainer, so only mashed up the onions somewhat.)  Refrigerate meat and gravy overnight.  Remove fat from meat and slice against the grain.  Combine with gravy after fat is removed.  To serve, reheat covered at 350 for 30 minutes.

Leek Latkes

Latkes are probably associated with Hanukkah more than Rosh Hashanah, but leeks are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, so I thought I would try out this recipe from Tipuach Zahav (Golden Apple) restaurant in Tel Aviv.  The latkes turned out really well.  They’re not too heavy because they’re lightly fried on each side, not deep fried. These are very flavorful, with the cilantro especially standing out.  They’re also great little appetizers if you make the “mini” version described in the recipe.  The parmesan cheese can be omitted to make them non-dairy.

Mama Grande’s Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is great with just about any kind of latke and this continues with the Rosh Hashanah apple theme.  Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the homemade applesauce Mama Grande, my grandmother, makes with McIntosh apples from New York.   The recipe is very simple and can be frozen.

4 large McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped
½ cup water
3 tablespoons sugar

Cook apples and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat until apples are soft and the consistency you want in the applesauce.  Stir in sugar to taste – I used about 3 tablespoons in this batch.  Makes 4 servings.

We finished this meal with Apple Crisp.

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