Gramma Sera Fritkin’s Russian Brisket
From Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family (Workman) by Judy Bart Kancigor
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Brisket is a cut of beef requiring slow cooking; pot roast is what you make with it (or with other cuts). What makes this version Russian is unclear (I doubt they had chili sauce in Minsk!). Here brisket is marinated in lemon juice, which tenderizes it and provides the tart backdrop for the sweet and tangy chili sauce that comes later. Serves 8 to 10.
About 4 1/2 pounds first-cut beef brisket
Juice of 6 lemons
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
2 envelopes dehydrated onion soup mix
3 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce, such as Heinz
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
About 2 pounds very small red potatoes
1. Place the brisket in a large glass baking dish or in a resealable plastic bag, and add the lemon juice. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal the bag, and marinate, turning the meat occasionally, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Rinse the lemon juice from the meat, and sprinkle both sides of the meat liberally with pepper and garlic powder. Place the brisket, fat side up, in a large roasting pan.
4. Pour water to a depth of about 1 inch around the meat, and sprinkle 1 envelope of the onion soup mix, brown sugar, three fourths of the chili sauce, and the garlic over the meat. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 2 1/2 hours.
5. Add 1/2 cup water to the remaining chili sauce in the jar, shake, and stir this mixture into the liquid in the roasting pan. Add some of the remaining soup mix to taste. Add the potatoes and baste with the liquid. Roast, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender and caramelized, 1 hour. The liquid will reduce to a rich, caramelized sauce. If it becomes too thick, stir in hot water, 1/4 cup at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
6. Remove the meat from the pan, slice it diagonally across the grain, and serve with the potatoes and sauce.