Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. The group was started by NewYorker Cheryl Tan, author of ‘A Tiger in the Kitchen’ , a food memoir of her Singaporean heritage. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. A list and link to all posts will be added to this page as they come in, so please check back.
Sunday Night Brisket. A ‘Fusion’ Dish of Jewish-Chinese Heritage.
You may look at this recipe and think that it’s not Jewish at all, and you may have a point. This cut of meat, however, and the basic way of cooking it, is attributed (by me!) to my mother Paula. She makes the ‘Jewish’ version of this brisket every year at Passover – same meat, same cooking method, but no sauce – only onions, oil and salt. It is truly delicious and is one of those dishes that transports me right back to my childhood. It is now part of the beautiful Monday Morning Cooking Club legacy – check out our MMCC video clip of how Mum’s wonderful brisket (and the accompanying ‘ulynik’) can be made.
In order to meet the #LetsLunch direction of ‘Fusion’, I wanted to pair my mum’s succulent, fall-off-the-bone, rich, sticky and very Jewish brisket with a rich Chinese-style sauce. I opened all my Kylie Kwong books for sauce inspiration and thought it would be great to make a cooking liquid based on a red-braising stock, but with what I had in the pantry.
The reason I have called it ‘Sunday night brisket’ is because the (tongue in cheek!) quintessential pairing with the Jews and the Chinese, is that Jewish people all over the world love to eat Chinese food on a Sunday night. Well at least that’s what we grew up doing!
I also see a beautiful similarity that goes a little deeper – both Jewish and Chinese mothers love to nurture and nourish their families with heartwarming food, so it’s no wonder we feel such a connection.
My apologies for the very average pictures. Alan Benson – I need you!
Sunday Night Brisket Recipe
1 veal breast on the bone (brisket), preferably under 2 kg (4 ½ lbs)
4 onions, peeled and sliced thinly or 8 shallots/green onions, cut into 2” pieces
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
½ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup dark soy sauce
½ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large knob ginger (100g), peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
4 large pieces orange or manadarin peel
2 large red chillis, seeds removed and sliced in half lengthways
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Cook the onions in the oil over medium heat until soft, not brown, around 15 minutes. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Spread the cooked onions and oil over both sides of the meat. Put the meat in a roasting pan, bone side up. Pour over the cooking sauce. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours, basting once.
After the 2 hours, remove the foil and turn the brisket over so the bones are now underneath. Spoon the onions on to the top of the meat and continue to cook, basting every 20 minutes. Cook for 1½ hours until fork tender. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into 2-bone portions to serve.
Cooking a large brisket: If the brisket is a large one (like the one in my own pics), you will need to add up to an hour of cooking time with the foil on. My test brisket was 3.5 kg and the total cooking time was 4.5 hours. The meat was not soft enough at the end, so I wrapped it in foil, and put it in the oven for an additional hour until the meat was fork tender. If you are starting with a big one, add the hour of cooking before you take the foil off.
Check out the other #LetsLunch posts here:
Renee’s Asian Spiced Quick Pickles at My Kitchen And I
Lucy’s Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango at A Cook and her Books
Emma’s Kimchi Bulgogi Nachos at Kitchen Dreamer
Grace’s Taiwanese Fried Chicken at Hapa Mama
Cheryl’s Pork Curry Tacos at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Jill’s Southern Pimento-Stuffed Knishes at Eating My Words
Joe’s Grilled KimCheese Sandwich at Joe Yonan
Linda’s Project Runway Pelau: Rice & Beans Trinidad-Style at Spicebox Travels
Nancie’s Chili-Cheese Biscuits with Avocado Butter at Nancie McDermott
Rashda’s Mango Cobbler at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Steff’s Chicken Fried Steak at The Kitchen Trials
Vivian’s Funky Fusion Linguini at Vivian Pei