Brisket with Apricots and Prunes
Brisket (PC: jeffreyw, Flickr)
The small victory here is all about the dampened, scrunched parchment that covers the brisket during its long braise. The parchment acts like a protective blanket (in this case, a wet blanket is a good thing!) and keeps the meat from drying out. My friend Susie Theodorou, an amazing food stylist, taught me this trick. A food stylist’s perspective is so interesting because it’s all about what makes food look the best, not always what makes it taste the best. (Susie, for the record, is one of those exceptional types who always gets both right.)
This brisket is my favorite thing to serve not only for Passover but also on any cold winter night—especially for a dinner party, since it feeds a crowd and is even better if you make it the day before. The simplest way to turn it into a complete meal would be to serve it with plenty of crusty bread or with egg noodles tossed with melted butter and chopped parsley, or mashed potatoes, or polenta (anything to help soak up the great sauce). I also like a bright salad served alongside to cut the richness—an arugula salad with olive oil and lemon and lots of thinly sliced celery for crunch is perfect. If your brisket is too large to fit comfortably in your cooking vessel, just cut the meat into two pieces.