Passover 2002: Freeing the Seder

  Italian-Jewish-Style Brisket

The Chef
MARK STRAUSMAN of Campagna and Fred's at Barneys New York

Serves eight.

1 beef brisket, about 5 to 6 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, cut in 1/4-inch dice
2 sticks celery, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 chicken livers (poached, if you keep kosher)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 bottle red wine
1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock

Garnish: 4 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Cooking Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Trim the brisket of most of its fat and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole, and sear the brisket on both sides until it starts to brown. Remove the brisket from the casserole. Add the diced vegetables and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until onion is translucent. Add the rosemary, chicken livers, tomatoes, and bay leaf, and return brisket to casserole. Completely cover the meat with the wine, adding chicken stock if necessary.

Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork-tender. If the liquid reduces by more than half during cooking, add a small amount of chicken stock.

Transfer the meat to a dish and keep warm. Remove the herbs, and purée remaining liquid in a blender with the vegetables and chicken livers until smooth. If the sauce is a little thin, return it to the casserole and reduce over medium-high heat until it reaches the desired consistency. Slice the brisket and arrange it on a deep platter with the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Photograph by Anna Williams.