Sunday, March 28, 2010

Setting a Table

This week is sandwiched by two holidays that offers reflection about our abilities to make choices and embrace our freedom. It is precious and important to recognize the fact that we, as a people, all have free use of will, and that we employ it with a sense of consciousness as it will always impact the people around us; the land we tread upon and even the legacy we leave behind.

My people are starting the week with a holiday that celebrates the march into freedom, and the search for a homeland – a basic concept we all seek to achieve. As for me, the physical presence is less vital than the actually commitment to community and love – that is home. We all share, I think, a desire to belong and be seen by tender gazing eyes and a mutually respectful society. Maintaining humility and an appreciation of our place within the cycle of life, as well as the wake we create reinforces the honor of this coming week, and helps continue the thread of life – which in return will leave room for another to join.

Brisket – yields 10 to 12 servings
6-1/2 pounds top cut brisket
3-large onions - thinly sliced
4-garlic cloves – chopped
1-tablespoon tomato paste
3 fresh bay leaves
1-tablespoon fresh thyme leaves – roughly chopped
1/4-pound sun-dried tomatoes – roughly chopped
1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3-cups veal stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Trim the brisket of its excessive fat that is topically present.

Season the brisket with salt and pepper.

Heat a roasting pan on the stovetop over a high heat, and sear the brisket on both sides.

Remove the brisket from the pan, and add the onions, cooking until lightly browned. Then add the garlic, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes and dried mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes. Lay the brisket over the onion mixture, and pour over the stock.

Cover the pan well, and place in the oven. Cook the brisket for 3 to 4 hours.

Let the brisket cool completely overnight in the refrigerator, and then slice. Return back to the cooking mixture and re-warm. Serve.

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