I don't know what has inspired me- procrastination maybe?? But I am cooking like it is going out of style- which maybe it is since I can not seem to cook and work at the same time- I am either focused on school or focused on food. Food. School. School. Food. Exciting...
The focus of my cooking attention is Passover. I have not kept Passover in quite a few years. I used the excuse that I was a vegetarian and beans/soy/etc. are not kosher so I could not "really" keep it so why try at all?(I know, I know...) I usually always do a Seder though- since many of my non-Jewish friends seem to enjoy it... And it makes my mom happy.
So without making a plan for Seder festivities, I went to the supermarket and purchased a ton of food for Passover. I also special ordered fish so that I can make my own gefilte fish. --What got into me?? I am still not quite sure. It is something though.
So Monday night I made a brisket and meatballs. And a non-Passover casserole for my friend Rachel. TE had to work late and by the time he got home (at midnight) the kitchen was clean and the apartment smelled like wonderful braised beef (a stark contrast to the current smell)! We will be eating the brisket tonight at Mel's so I will report back on how it tastes- but from the smell and sampling I already did, I think it is going to be a success!
Here is the recipe from epicurious with photos:
Beef Brisket with Merlot and Prunes
Serves 8 (?)
Approx 450 cal/serving
- 1 4-to 4 1/2-pound flat-cut (also called first-cut) beef brisket, trimmed of most fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
- 1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
- 2 pounds onions, sliced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
- 16 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups pitted large prunes (about 8 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon prune juice
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Pat brisket dry; sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy extra-large skillet over high heat. Add brisket and cook until deep brown, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer brisket, fat side up, to large roasting pan. Add tomatoes with juice and wine to skillet. Remove from heat, scrape up any browned bits, and pour mixture over brisket. Distribute onions, carrots, and garlic around brisket. Add prunes and thyme; drizzle with 1/2 cup prune juice and 3 tablespoons vinegar. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place pan over 2 burners and bring to boil. Cover pan with heavy-duty foil; place in oven.
Photo taken before putting into oven:
Braise brisket until tender, about 3 hours 15 minutes. Uncover and cool 1 hour at room temperature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with foil and chill. Bring just to simmer over 2 burners before continuing.
Remove brisket from roasting pan, scraping off juices. Place on work surface;cut across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.Spoon off fat from top of pan juices.
Place 1 cup vegetables (no prunes) and 1 cup braising liquid from pan into processor and puree. Return puree to pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon prune juice and 1 teaspoon vinegar to pan. Heat sauce; season with salt and pepper.
Overlap brisket slices in 13x9x2- inch glass baking dish. Pour sauce over brisket, separating slices to allow some sauce to flow between. DO AHEAD:Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
Rewarm brisket, covered, in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle brisket with parsley; serve.Calorie information was calculated with help from super-dietitian LR!! Thank you!