Aaron Lowen, operating partner and chef at Empire Kitchen & Cocktails in Midtown, says he grew up in a Jewish-American household where food and family went together. “It seems to me that most Jewish holidays revolve around the food we eat,” he says. “So, when I think of family and holidays, I always think of brisket.” Below is his classic beef brisket recipe.
Braised Beef Brisket (Serves 6)
5-6 pounds flat-cut, slightly trimmed brisket
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions peeled and cut into large chunks
4 stalks celery cut into large chunks
4 large baby carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
3 tbsp. tomato paste
5 cloves garlic
1 packet onion soup mix (I use Lipton’s)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. First, season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper, lightly dust the brisket with flour, and then shake and turn to coat evenly. Heat the oil in large roasting pan, add the brisket to the pan, and sear on both sides until dark brown. Then, remove the brisket from the pan, and add in the onions, carrots, celery, and whole garlic cloves, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Drop in the tomato paste and cook until the vegetables are softened, and the mixture has turned golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Once reduced, pour in the beef stock and onion soup mix. This will create the braising liquid. Place the brisket back into roasting pan with the braising liquid, cover with heavy duty aluminum foil or a lid, and transfer to the oven and cook for two to three hours until completely tender. Gently remove the brisket from the pan. At this point, there will be additional juice that was created by the brisket itself. Place all vegetables and the braising liquid into a blender and blend until smooth — you might need to add the vegetables in batches, and pour in additional beef stock to loosen the mixture if it becomes too thick. Gently slice the brisket into ¼-inch slices, place slices back into the roasting pan, and pour the blended juice mixture back over top. Heat, serve, and enjoy!