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Hanukkah food recipes
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Not-too-well stewed brisket

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (5-pound) brisket of beef, shoulder roast of beef, chuck roast or end of steak
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 stalks celery with the leaves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

Note: The original English-Yiddish name of this dish is Not Too Gedempte Fleysch.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle the salt and pepper to taste over the brisket and rub with the garlic. In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil over medium high and sear the brisket on both sides. Put the onions in a large Dutch oven or casserole and place the brisket on top of them, fat-side up. Cover with the tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary.

Cover and bake about 3 hours, basting often with the pan juices.

Add parsley and carrots and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, or until carrots are cooked and meat is fork-tender (when you put a fork in the meat and pull it out, there should be a light pull on the fork as you remove it).

This dish is best when it is prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated, so the fat can easily be skimmed from the surface. When ready to serve, remove the layer of fat from the top and replace in the pot with the side that had been covered by the fat facing down. Spoon some gravy over the top and reheat over medium heat or in the oven at 350 degrees until the meat is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from a recipe originally by Joan Nathan and reprinted in “The Brisket Book” by Stephanie Pierson.

Stovetop tzimmes

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 5 ounces dried cranberries
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or salted water
  • 10 ounces pitted prunes (2 1/2 cups)

Mix together sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots in the bottom of a large, heavy pot. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together orange juice, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and black pepper. Pour mixture over fruit and vegetables in the pot.

Add chicken broth or salted water. Heat pot over medium high until it begins to simmer, stirring once. Reduce heat to a gentle but constant simmer, and cover the pot.

After 45 minutes, gently stir again. Place pitted prunes on top of the other ingredients and replace the cover.

Cook on lowest heat for 15 minutes until sweet potato pieces are tender and prunes have warmed and softened. Avoid overcooking, which will cause the prunes to dissolve.

Adapted from a recipe by Tori Avey


  • 2 russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 1 large wedge lemon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vegetable oil (not olive)

Grate the potatoes, using the small holes of a grater. Place the gratings in several layers of paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (it is easiest to do this in 2 batches, and it makes cleaning easier if you do it over a sink). Unwrap the potato gratings and place them in a medium bowl. Add the onion, squeeze the lemon over the top and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, flour and nutmeg and stir to mix again.

Pour oil into a skillet to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot; the oil is ready when a little bit of the potato mixture instantly sizzles when you drop it in. Pour in enough of the potato mixture to make 1 or 2 (4-inch) pancakes; do not make more than 2 at a time. Flatten the potatoes in the pan with a spatula and fry a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip pancakes and cook until the other sides are golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towels; sprinkle with plenty of salt.

If desired, serve with apple sauce or sour cream.

Recipe by Daniel Neman

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