Brisket with Dried Apricots, Prunes, and Aromatic Spices
Begin this at least one day ahead. Serve with Potato-Leek Matzo Balls and steamed asparagus.
What to drink: A full-bodied red with robust fruit, such as Zinfandel or Australian Shiraz.
2/3 cup quartered dried apricots (about 4 ounces)
9 large garlic cloves
31/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 4 1/2- to 5-pound flat-cut beef brisket
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups homemade beef stock or canned low-salt beef broth
2/3 cup pitted prunes, quartered
Chopped fresh cilantro
Combine 1/3 cup apricots, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in processor. Using on/off turns, chop to coarse puree. Using small sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over brisket. Set aside 1 tablespoon apricot mixture. Press remaining apricot mixture into slits.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 300*F. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle brisket all over with salt and pepper. Add brisket to pot and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, fat side up; spread with reserved 1 tablespoon apricot mixture. Add onions to same pot. Sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add carrots, ginger, coriander, cayenne pepper, remaining 6 garlic cloves and 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced almost to glaze, stirring up any browned bits, about 5 minutes. Return brisket to pot. Add stock and bring to simmer. Spoon some of vegetable mixture over brisket.
Cover pot and place in oven. Roast brisket 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Add prunes and remaining 1/3 cup apricots. Cover; roast until brisket is tender, about 30 minutes longer. Cool brisket uncovered 1 hour. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled overnight.
Spoon off any solid fat from top of gravy; discard fat. Scrape gravy off brisket into pot. Place brisket on work surface. Slice brisket thinly across grain. Bring gravy in pot to boil over medium-high heat. Boil to thicken slightly, if desired. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Arrange sliced brisket in large ovenproof dish. Spoon gravy over. Cover with foil. (Can be made 2 days ahead; refrigerate.)
Rewarm covered brisket in 350*F oven about 30 minutes (or 40 minutes if chilled). Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: Bon Appétit