Briskets are Big.

18 Sep

You know, you can’t get a brisket just anywhere.  And I should preface this post by saying that I don’t look Jewish.  Not even a little bit.  You know how you can kinda tell sometimes??  Well…

The Jewish butcher raised an eyebrow and asked:  “Brisket?  Really?  A big one?”

“22 people.  Is that big?”

“It’s a big one.”

Out comes this cryo vac’d brisket that seemed to cover his entire counter.  “You gotta car?” he asks. 

Did I ever!  Even a cooler in the trunk.  Only, this brisket was not going to fit in my cooler.  No way.  And I wasn’t going to be home for hours.  “Can you cut it in half for me?”

He frowned, shrugged, and said:  “It’s not as nice.” 

A bit embarassed, I thought fast, nodded, and explained that it would fit in my smoker easier this way.  “Smoker?” A smile spread across his face.  “What time are you eating?  I’ll be there!”

My knife is an 8" chef's knife... that's one BIG brisket!!

My knife is an 8" chef's knife... that's one BIG brisket!!

 

Now.  I got this thing home (actually two things now) and had to decide how to marinate it.  So, I consult my trusty Jewish cookbook collection, and some online sources, and read about all kinds of concoctions.  Some notable ingredients:  onion soup mix, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, and that good old standby, liquid smoke.  But, since I was going to smoke this baby anyway, I decided to forgo the fake stuff and made a simple rub of:

2/3 cups brown sugar, 1 T kosher (of course!) salt, 1 t garlic powder, 1 t onion powder, 2 t paprika, and a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper.  Into some extra large ziploc bags and off to the fridge. 

While shopping for brisket I started to get nervous about the kreplach.  After all, last night was the first time I made them and what if the pasta dough I made was too thick?  It was a little thick, wasn’t it.  I should have taken the pasta machine down to 6… not stopped at 5… hmm…. they might be doughy and inedible.  Even worse, my geometry was a bit wonky and they didn’t end up looking like neat little triangles with the filling in the centre, more like misshapen gyoza dumplings made after a bit too much Sake.  Better have some backup matzah balls at the ready.  Only I remember our box of matzah meal is way stale.  And opened.  Better buy more. 

Guess what??  It’s really hard to find matzah meal in a predominantly non-Jewish area the day before Rosh Hashannah.  Really hard.  But I trip over some whole matzah crackers at my local cheesemonger (what’s he doing with those?) and buy a box each of ‘whole wheat’ and ‘regular’, figuring I will just blend the two together in the cuisinart.  That makes matzah meal, right?  It should.  That would be logical.

Tomorrow will be busy.  A full day at the office, day one of the New Year celebration, and we will be eating at my sister – in – law’s.  I know for a fact she’s not making chullah from scratch.  HA! 

Wait.  Should I be worried?

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