Brisket is classic for Passover. It is a family classic, sure to bring up memories.
When I was growing up, my father often took us to the Town Restaurant in downtown Miami, where they had the best brisket in Miami. Brisket was also on the menu at Wolfie’s, the iconic restaurant at the corner of Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road on Miami Beach. Now, the site is firmly located in South Beach. The neighborhood has changed and the restaurant is gone, but back then, every table had bowls of pickled tomatoes, pickled beets and dill pickles, with tongs dangling from the sides and little white serving bowls for the patrons to help themselves while they waited for their meal to arrive. Brisket is traditionally served with carrots and onions. The dish yields a lot of gravy, so it is perfect for the dysphagia kitchen.
Technique for the Dysphagia Kitchen
Traditionally, brisket is prepared in the oven with low, slow cooking. Essential Puree suggests preparing this brisket in a pressure cooker because the pressure cooker renders the brisket very moist and very tender, perfect for puree. It also cuts the cooking time in three.
The new pressure cookers are electric and safe. I used an 8-quart pressure cooker, but brisket could also be made in a 6-quart model. Every pressure cooker is different and every climate is different. It is a good idea to adjust cooking time, given in this recipe for brisket, for your own kitchen appliance and in your own climate.
Tip: Puree the brisket one serving at a time, so as not to overload the blender or the mini food processor. This dish freezes beautifully.
Prep: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 60 minutes Level: Easy Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 3 pound beef brisket, trimmed
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 3 large yellow onions, quartered
- 3 celery stalks (peeled with a peeler to remove the fiber from the stalks), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups water
- 1½ cups tomato juice
- 1 cube Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon, no salt dissolved in 2 tbsp. hot water
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon fresh oregano, optional
Rub brisket with 1 tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. white pepper.
Make sure to peel the celery of the “hairs” from the outside of the stalk, as these are not good for the swallow. The oregano and bay leaf may be tied in cheesecloth and tied with butcher twine for easy removal at the end of cooking.
Place the ingredients in an electric pressure cooker. Set pressure vent to seal and set timer to 60 minutes.
When timer bell sounds, allow pressure to return to normal, about ten minutes.
Remove brisket from pressure cooker, being careful to avoid steam. Test for doneness, meaning tenderness and moistness. Meat should fall apart. If meat is not yet tender, return to pressure cooker for another fifteen minutes.
Remove and allow meat to cool. Make sure to remove the bay leaves and any oregano leaves that remain.
For the Puree
Cut a 4 oz. slice of the brisket across the grain and shred with a fork. Place in bowl of mini-food processor with ½ cup liquid. Pulse ten times until meat is broken down.
At this point, add a quarter cup of carrots. Pulse to incorporate. Puree until smooth. If too thick, add liquid. If too thin, add more brisket.
With the combination of meat, gravy and vegetables, you may not need instant thickeners. Judge for yourself. Make sure brisket is completely smooth in the puree. If necessary, put the puree through a mesh sieve to remove any particles that have not completely pureed. Serve.
Tip: If you have the time to make a brisket the old-fashioned way, in the oven for three and a half hours, I recommend the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe on the Food Network website. This is a big recipe for a brisket of 6 pounds. It is best if you are having a large gathering. Ina has posted an instructional video online.