Turkish Coffee-Rubbed Brisket

Turkish Coffee-Rubbed Brisket
Photo by Linda Pugliese, food styling by Anna Hampton

This recipe by Chef Michael Solomonov, owner of the James Beard award-winning, Israrel-inspired Zahav, can be found on epicurious.com.

Chef Michael Solomonov
Chef Michael Solomonov
Photo by Michael Persico©

Though 4 pounds of brisket may seem like a lot, remember that this cut of meat loses some weight in cooking; one advantage of leaner first-cut brisket is that there’s less shrinkage, but remember you’ll pay more for the privilege.

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 garlic head, unpeeled, sliced in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground Turkish coffee or espresso
  • 1 tablespoon smoked cinnamon (available from www.laboiteny.com) or regular cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • One 3 1/2- to 4-pound brisket, (first or second cut; Solomonov prefers well-marbled second cut)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place onions, potatoes, carrot, fennel, and garlic in a heavy roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a small bowl, combine coffee, cinnamon, cardamom, remaining 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub all over brisket and nestle brisket into vegetables to rest on bottom of pan. Roast until vegetables are lightly browned, 45 minutes.
  2. Cover tightly with foil, lower oven to 300°F, and roast until fork-tender (you should be able to insert a roasting fork in the center and twist slightly with little resistance), 4 1/2 to 5 hours for first cut and 5 1/2 to 6 hours for second cut. As the brisket cooks, check on it every 45 minutes, adding 1/4 cup water to the pan if it starts to look dry. When the brisket is cooked, remove roasting pan from oven, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate with the vegetables until fat is solid, 8 to 24 hours. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and slice across the grain. Skim and discard fat in the roasting pan. Return brisket slices to the roasting pan with the vegetables and cooking juices.
  3. To serve, preheat oven to 300°F. Transfer roasting pan to oven and heat brisket until liquid is melted and brisket and vegetables are just warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the brisket and vegetables to a serving dish, cover with foil, and reserve. Set the roasting pan over two burners on the stovetop and simmer the liquid over medium heat until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the thickened pan juices over the brisket and serve.

Moist Holiday Honey Cake

Spiced fragrant honey cake is a tradition on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year, which generally falls in September).

Yield: One 10-inch cake/12 Servings

Moist Holiday Honey Cake
Photo by Amybobamy/All Recipes.com

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (decaf is fine)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup whiskey

Directions:

  1. Place an oven shelf in an upper position in oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 10-inch fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt® pan) with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the unbleached flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, honey, white and brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, coffee, orange juice, and whiskey. With an electric mixer, beat the flour mixture into the honey mixture just until the batter is thoroughly incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake on upper shelf in the preheated oven until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs, about 1 hour. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan before turning the cake out onto a serving platter.

If baking in a 9 x13-inch baking pan, bake for 40 minutes.

Notes: Some people drizzle with white icing and slivered almonds.  The almonds are sprinkled on top prior to baking and you should let it cool in the pan for about 15 – 20 min and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely before placing it on a serving platter.

Rosh Hashana – September 24, 2014

Many Jewish Americans celebrate Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah), which is also known as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashana starts on the first day of Tishrei (or Tishri), which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, and may last for two days. It is sometimes called the Day of Remembrance or the Day of Blowing the Shofar.

The Shofar is blown at some stage during Rosh Hashana.
The Shofar is blown at some stage during Rosh Hashana. (©iStockphoto.com/Tova Teitelbaum)

Many Jewish Americans observe Rosh Hashanah, known as the New Year in the Jewish calendar, for two days, while others celebrate the event for one day. It is a time of family gatherings, special meals and sweet foods. Many Jewish people celebrate Rosh Hashana by eating challah bread and apples dipped in honey.

Unlike the secular New Year in the Gregorian calendar (January 1), Rosh Hashana is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which God reviews and judges a person’s deeds in the past year. It is a time of prayer and penitence. All debts from the past year are supposed to be settled before Rosh Hashana. Many Jewish people seek forgiveness from friends and family prior to this event.

Some Jewish people perform the tashlikh. This is the custom of reciting prayers near naturally flowing water, such as a stream or river, and symbolically throwing one’s sins away in the form of small pieces of bread or other food. Many Jewish people perform tashlik from places such as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in New York. Some people may use a fish pond or mikveh (ritual bath) if there is no local river or stream.

People of Jewish faith may take the day off work or organize time off during this time of the year, to observe the belief that no work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Much of the day is spent in synagogue, where the regular daily liturgy is expanded. The story of Abraham is read in synagogues and the shofar (ram’s horn) serves as a reminder that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of Abraham’s son, Isaac. The shofar is blown like a trumpet in the synagogue during this time of the year.

Background
Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah) marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Some sources say that the early Jewish calendar had four New Years, corresponding the seasons, with Rosh Hashana being one of the New Years.

Festivals to mark the beginning of a new year in the fall have been held since the earliest days of the Israelites. These took the form of prayers of thanks for the grain harvest. The custom of blowing trumpets on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei is first described in the vision of Ezekiel, a prophet who lived sometime around 600–500 BCE. This custom has continued into modern times.

Symbols
The challah bread, which is eaten during Rosh Hashana, symbolizes the continuity of life. The apples that are dipped in honey symbolize sweetness and good health throughout the New Year. Some people also eat fish heads, which symbolize their desire to be on top, not the bottom, of life in the New Year. Pomegranates symbolize an abundance of goodness and happiness.

The shofar reminds people of Jewish faith that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of his Abraham’s son, Isaac. The tashlikh is an act that symbolizes throwing one’s sins in the water, so people believe that they are freed from their sins.
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.