Hanukkah Brisket is a dish of slowly braised brisket of beef commonly served during the Jewish festival Hanukkah
Beef brisket is quite popular in the Jewish cuisine where it is prepared in most of their major festivals like Rosh Hashanah, Passover and Hanukkah. This became a popular delicacy since the Jews in Eastern Europe during the old days couldn’t afford more expensive cuts of beef like ribs and tender steaks hence, they learned how to make do with the cheaper cuts, those less desirable parts like Brisket. One of the results is this amazing dish.
I first heard of this dish when Howard Wolowitz in Big Bang Theory raves about his mom’s brisket with women he meets. Since then I got curious on what this dish was and tried to order it on restaurants where it is showcased. I never had cooked it before, only had tried them, all the ones I tried were heavenly, melt in your mouth, moist and tasty. Today it will change as I want to make my own one at home, basically made my own take on this classic Hanukkah Brisket. This is also in time to honour of Hanukkah for our Jewish brothers which starts on 22 December this year.
So, what do you pair it with? Traditionally potato latkes or roasted vegetables are the usual pairs but as a Filipino, I will have so sneak in some rice in there.
In a bowl combine all dry rub ingredients together.
Dry the beef brisket then rub spice mix all over then let it stand at room temperature for an hour.
In a heavy gauge roasting pan or Dutch oven heat oil then brown beef on both sides in medium high heat. Remove brisket from pan then set it aside.
In the same pan add onions then cook in medium heat until softened and caramelized. Pour all braising liquid ingredients, simmer then place the brisket back into the pan. Place fennel around the meat then cover the roasting pan or Dutch oven then place in a 150C preheated oven and bake for 4 hours or until beef is fork tender. Check occasionally and make sure liquid does not dry out, add beef stock if needed.
Remove beef from roasting pan, place in a large platter and cover it with foil, rest for 30 minutes.
Prepare your sauce by skimming the fat off the braising liquid and discarding the bay leaf. Vegetables will be soft at this point, mash it with fork and combine it with the liquid to make gravy.