Cookbook Profile

Jim Cohen's Sephardic Brisket


2 dried pasilla chiles
1 four-pound brisket
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
4 cups chicken or beef stock or water
1 cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon peppercorns
4 tea bags from strong black tea
2 cups dried pitted prunes
2 cups dried apricots


1. Soak the peppers in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Seed, remove the stems and chop into tiny pieces.

2. Season the brisket with the salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy roasting pan and brown the brisket on all sides. Remove from the pan.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4. In the same pan, over medium heat, sauté the onions and ginger until the onions are transparent. Add the pepper and deglaze with the orange juice. Reduce for a few minutes. Add the brisket and enough stock or water to cover. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cook, uncovered, until the brisket is tender, about 3 hours, turning at half hour intervals. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. purée the sauce in a food processor or blender.

5. Cool and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Remove the congealed fat that float on the top of the liquid.

6. A half hour before serving, bring about 4 cups water to a boil. Steep the tea bags in the water to make a strong tea. Discard the tea bags. Put the prunes and apricots in the tea to plump for about half an hour. Then drain them. Reheat the brisket, the sauce, and the plumped fruit. Serve with saffron rice, mashed potatoes, or couscous.

Yield: 8 servings


Jewish Cooking In America with Joan Nathan
26-Part Cooking Series
by Maryland Public Television,
Frappe Inc. And Joan Nathan
Begins September 1998 on PBS
Reprinted by permission.


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This page created September 1998