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Spiced Beef Brisket

A blend of Middle Eastern spices adds an exotic touch to the classic Jewish braised brisket.

Ingredients:

  • 1 brisket of beef, about 10 lb.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 Tbs. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil or chicken fat
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 lb. yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock, or as needed
  • 2 cups tomato puree

Directions:

Place the meat in a large glass or plastic container. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, the 2 Tbs.pepper and the ginger and sprinkle the mixture over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days, turning once each day. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry.

In a large, heavy fry pan or on a griddle over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season the meat with salt, add to the pan and brown for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Set aside.

In a heavy pot large enough to hold the brisket, heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Place the beef atop the onions and cover the pot. Reduce the heat andsimmer the brisket for 2 hours. Add the stock if the onions and beef havent exuded enough juices; you will need about 3 cups of liquid. Add the tomato puree and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour more.

Transfer the brisket to a carving board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. If the pan juices are too thin or lack flavor, set the pot over medium heat and simmer the juices until reduced slightly. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with the pan juices. Serves 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Complete Entertaining Cookbook, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 1998).