Nach Waxman’s Brisket of Beef – Sliders!

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Sometimes, yes, that is – sometimes – I don’t test tradition. In the case of brisket, I hesitated and reached out to my father for a recipe recommendation. He quickly sent me a link to Nach Waxman’s recipe for Brisket of Beef on Food52.com. Not only has this recipe been crafted from the best parts of Waxman’s traditions – it’s been served to the Obamas and acclaimed by writers who claim they are the biggest “lovers of brisket.”  And, I’ll give it to these folks – the recipe is amazing. It is a test of patience and time but is the most tender and rich of briskets that I’ve eaten. It obviously smells good too – do you see Winston on the left of the photo??

Food 52 summarizes this recipe saying, “Waxman says he will “absolutely” be serving this recipe for Hanukkah, with latkes, pickled green tomatoes, and sauerkraut warmed in a little olive oil and beer. Another friend said that this would be akin to serving roast turkey on Halloween. Whatever your tradition tells you is right — and whether you’re a brisket newbie or an old hand — this recipe will make this winter better than the last.”  I agree, my winter is so much better in making this.

I served this brisket between fluffy rolls in slider-form for my #HappyEverything cocktail party. They were a huge hit and all 3.5 pounds of brisket was devoured!

Nach Waxman’s Brisket of Beef

  • 1, 6-pound first-cut (a.k.a. flat-cut) beef brisket, trimmed so that a thin layer of fat remains (we only ought 3.5 pounds)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 8 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced (we used 4)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, peeled (we used 2)

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly dust the brisket with flour, then sprinkle with pepper to taste. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large ovenproof enameled cast-iron pot or other heavy pot with a lid just large enough to hold the brisket snugly. Add the brisket to the pot and brown on both sides until crusty brown areas appear on the surface here and there, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Transfer the brisket to a platter, turn up the heat a bit, then add the onions to the pot and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the onions have softened and developed a rich brown color but aren’t yet caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and place the brisket and any accumulated juices on top of the onions.
Spread the tomato paste over the brisket as if you were icing a cake. Sprinkle with salt and more pepper to taste, then add the garlic and carrot to the pot. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and cook the brisket for 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and, using a very sharp knife, slice the meat across the grain into approximately 1/8-inch-thick slices. Return the slices to the pot, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice. The end result should resemble the original unsliced brisket leaning slightly backward. Check the seasonings and, if the sauce appears dry, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of water to the pot.
Cover the pot and return to the oven. Lower the heat to 325°F and cook the brisket until it is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check once or twice during cooking to make sure that the liquid is not bubbling away. If it is, add a few more teaspoons of water—but not more. Also, each time you check, spoon some of the liquid on top of the roast so that it drips down between the slices.
It is ready to serve with its juices, but, in fact, it’s even better the second day. It also freezes well.

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