Monday, April 1, 2013

Recipe: Todd's Modern Day Brisket

Photo Credit: Renee Comet

The melt in your mouth brisket served at the Seder at Equinox Restaurant was described as the "the best brisket I've ever had" by multiple guests in attendance. You'll definitely want to visit Equinox Restaurant between now and April 2nd to enjoy their 5-course Passover menu for $45 per person, where you'll be able to savor Todd's Modern Day Brisket alongside courses of Salad of Roasted Heirloom Beets with Capers and Pistachio, Quinoa Salad with Figs and Mint, Wilted Spinach with Sesame Seeds and Flour-less Chocolate Cake. If you can't make it to Equinox Restaurant before April 2nd, you can still enjoy Todd's Modern Day Brisket by following the recipe below: 

Todd’s Modern Day Brisket
Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 3-pound beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery rib, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups veal stock (see About Veal Stock, page 47, and recipe in Chef’s Appendix)
2 cups dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
½ cup balsamic vinegar

Brown the brisket. Heat the oven to 325°F. Mix together the salt, paprika, mustard seed, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and cook until brown on both sides, turning once—5 to 7 minutes per side.

Bake the brisket. Transfer the brisket to a baking dish just large enough to hold it. Then add the rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Add the chopped vegetables and pour in the veal stock, wine, and vinegar.
Cover the dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake until the brisket is fork-tender—3 to 4 hours. Transfer the brisket temporarily to a plate while you strain the liquid through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan (discard the herbs, vegetables, and garlic) and wash and dry the baking dish.

Press the brisket. Return the brisket to the clean baking dish. Place another heavy dish on top of it, directly on the meat, to weight it down. The ideal weight for this is 2. pounds, so add some canned goods to the top dish. Then wrap the entire assemblage in foil (over weights and all) and refrigerate overnight and until shortly before ready to serve.

Make the sauce. Meanwhile, heat the strained braising liquid over medium heat until it is reduced to about 2. cups—about 20 minutes. The finished sauce should have a glaze-like consistency.
Taste the sauce and add salt or pepper if you wish. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to reheat the brisket.

Complete the brisket. Shortly before you are ready to serve, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and transfer to a cutting board. Also remove the sauce. Cut the brisket into 3-inch cubes: You don’t want to waste any of the meat, so the cubes don't need to be exactly this size or perfect along the edges. Place the brisket on a pan just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour in enough sauce to just cover the meat (you may add a little stock or water if there isn't enough sauce to do this). Heat over low heat until warmed through-about 10 minutes. Spoon the brisket onto a serving platter; pour the sauce over and serve

This, and 100 + other recipes, can be found in Todd and Ellen Gray's recently released cookbook, The New Jewish Table, published by St. Martin's Press.  To enjoy the tastes of Equinox Restaurant in your own home all year long, visit for a list of retailers selling the book. 

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