Preparing a roasted brisket is a tradition for celebrating Hanukkah.
Erica Miller: We’re in Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, known as the festival of lights, it’s time for families to come together to give gifts, recite special prayers and of course to eat.
Esther: This is the brisket.
Erica Miller: Okay.
Esther: This is a whole brisket.
Erica Miller: How much does this weigh do you think?
Esther: This weigh approximately six to seven pounds this is considered a small brisket when you look at the total thing. This part is the first cut, this is the second cut and they’re joined.
The first step with this is to pull it apart which is what I do because this the way I like it.
Erica Miller: That’s easy enough.
Esther: Which is pretty simple. It sometimes is joined more and you can trim this if you like more. My butcher has trimmed this quite well. The next step is we put the garlic cloves in. Let’s take a clove here.
Erica Miller: Yeah. We have about close to a dozen cloves of garlic peeled.
Esther: I think this is about a whole ball of garlic, isn’t it?
Erica Miller: Yeah. We had a whole ball.
Esther: About the whole ball of wax. Alright, I’m trying to cut it in half like that and just kind of sliver it like soap.
Erica Miller: All right.
Esther: I try not to cut my fingers. But then I’m going to take this one and cut it. So, I have actually slivers like that. Now, we make little cuts like so just like this. The point of your knife goes in, take a piece of garlic and push it in.
Erica Miller: Okay. Let me try that. Make a little incision.
Esther: Push it in.
Erica Miller: That’s it?
Esther: That’s it. I mean it’s not a complicated thing.
Erica Miller: Now the brisket goes into the oven to seer for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. We’ve just seared Esther’s Garlicky Brisket for about 15 minutes. Now it’s time for some great seasonings.
Esther: So now we’re going to out our onions on the bottom.
Erica Miller: All of them?
Esther: Half on that side and then half on the other side. I’ll just lay this down.
Erica Miller: Okay.
Esther: Okay. And you see all the nice juice on the bottom?
Erica Miller: Absolutely.
Esther: Now, paprika and don’t be stringent. Don’t be stingy. Wonderful. Now, the ketchup, you can put in on now or you can put it on later halfway through the cooking.
Let’s put it on now. What do you think? Just make a pretty design. This is ketchup. There is something about ketchup. It gives it such a wonderful flavor. The water goes in.
Erica Miller: Okay. How much do you put?
Esther: I put a cup in but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be able to add more later.
Erica Miller: So basically you’re looking for a good amount of moisture at the bottom and then you’re going to put it back in the oven so that whenever you based it every 10 to 15 minutes, you use the liquids from here and you’ll have plenty.
Esther: Let’s give it a little bit of base right now just to kind swoosh around.
Erica Miller: I love how all the garlic has caramelized.
Esther: Yeah. Ain’t it cute how it pops up?
Erica Miller: Yup.
Esther: So it’s adorable.
Erica Miller: Is that how you like your brisket to look?
Erica Miller: Now, this beautiful brisket goes back into the oven at 350 degrees for an hour and a half with basting every 15 minutes.
Her garlicky brisket came out of the oven roasted to perfection. Before Esther actually slices the brisket, she cools it in the refrigerator to keep the meat from falling apart. Now for the slicing.
Erica Miller: I get the honors today.
Esther: You certainly do.
Erica Miller: Do you usually slice this small one first of it doesn’t matter?
Esther: It doesn’t matter. Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter.
Erica Miller: Against the green.
Esther: Against the green, that’s very important.
Erica Miller: And it’s important because if you slice it with the green, what happens?
Erica Miller: Exactly.
Esther: Shredded meat.
Erica Miller: Of course, this brisket isn’t going to be served cold. Once the meat is sliced, it goes back into the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Wow. Can you believe it? The long awaited moment.
Erica Miller: Yes.
Esther: Yes, yes.
Erica Miller: Wow.
Erica Miller: Wow. That looks great.
Esther: Does this makes you want to sing?
Erica Miller: Sharing the special evening with family and enjoying this meal is only part of the Hanukkah celebration. A prayer for God’s blessing and a lighting of the Menorah preserves and age old tradition for yet another generation
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