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Grandma’s Brisket and Tzimmes, Paired With Cape Merlot

Simon Back of Backsberg Wines & Estates in Paarl, South Africa, recommends drinking the winery’s kosher pinotage with his grandmother’s brisket recipe below.

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Serves 6

5 large carrots
5 medium white potatoes
5 medium sweet potatoes
3 pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup sugar (more if desired)
1 whole onion, optional
2 tablespoons flour, browned (see instructions below)
2 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable shortening

1) Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

2) Peel and cut carrots into thin rounds or dice. Pare and cut white potatoes into quarters. Pare and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick rounds.

3) Sear the brisket of beef in pot to be used for cooking, turning frequently until evenly browned. Add the vegetables, salt and sugar. Add onion if using. (See note below.)

4) Add water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then cook over low heat about 2½ to 3 hours. (Do not stir contents of pot. To prevent possible sticking, shake the pot occasionally.) Add additional water to maintain moisture as needed.

5) When the liquid has been reduced by half, turn into a baking pan or casserole. Add an einbren or thickening, made by lightly browning flour in hot melted shortening and stirring in some of the liquid from the meat and tzimmes. Shake the casserole and distribute the thickening. Then bake in oven for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

Note: If onion is used for additional flavor, it should be left whole, with 1 or 2 cuts at the root end to permit the flow of juice, and removed before it becomes too mushy. Honey may be substituted for sugar.

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