The brisket recipe in chef Michael Solomonov’s family has evolved with each generation. His grandmother used to make hers with Heinz Chili Sauce. Sometime in the 1980s, Michael’s mother added coffee and brown sugar to the recipe. And, when Michael started making his version, he replaced the coffee with espresso and added cardamom to evoke Turkish coffee. As for the Heinz Chili Sauce, Michael’s replaced its sweetness with dried apricots.
Solomonov served this Brisket at Cafe Asif as part of the House Pot project, where a chef or home cook prepares a dish from home for lunch at Cafe Asif.
Read more about Michael Solomonov’s family in “Chef Michael Solomonov’s Brisket Recipe Has Evolved With Each Generation.”
2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground black cardamom (instead of both cardamoms you can substitute 1 ½ tablespoons total dried mint)
2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 brisket (first cut, about 4 pounds)
¼ cup canola oil
2 large onions, cut into ½-inch slices
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
10 garlic cloves, cut into ¼-inch slices
⅓ cup tomato paste
1 ½ cups dried apricots
2 cups brewed coffee
8 large eggs in their shells
Grated fresh horseradish, for serving
- Mix the ground coffee, cardamom, black cardamom, and salt in a small bowl and rub into the brisket. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Set a rack inside a roasting pan. Put the brisket on the rack and roast until the exterior has browned, about 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
- Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until it reduces slightly, about 2 more minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables to the roasting pan with the rack removed. Add the brisket, dried apricots, brewed coffee, and eggs in their shells. Add enough water to bring the liquid halfway up the side of the brisket.
- Cover the pan tightly with two layers of foil, return to the oven, and braise for 1 hour. Remove the eggs, gently tap them all over with a spoon to make a network of small cracks, and return them to the braise. Cover and continue cooking until the brisket shreds easily with a fork, about 2 ½ to 3 more hours, depending on its size. Let the brisket cool in its braising liquid, then refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the cold brisket, return to the braising liquid, and bake until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Spoon the broth over the meat. Serve with the peeled eggs and grated fresh horseradish.
Lightly adapted and reprinted with permission from “ZAHAV: A World of Israeli Cooking” © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.