Moroccan Brisket with Olives, Tomatoes, Onions and Preserved Lemons

posted by Pat T 04-04-101 8:52 AM

These are from Joan Nathan's new cookbook, "The Foods of Israel Today"
Moroccan Brisket with Olives, Tomatoes, Onions and Preserved Lemons

5- to 6-pound beef brisket
5 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large onions, diced (about 8 cups)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 bay leaves
1 celery stalk, diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups green Moroccan olives, pitted
2 to 3 preserved lemons, diced (see Note)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

With a knife, pierce the skin of the brisket in 5 places and insert the garlic cloves. Springle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy skillet or roasting pan, add the meat, sear on all sides and remove.

Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the same pan and saute 3/4 of the onions (about 6 cups) until they are limp. Add the turmeric, ginger, white pepper, bay leaves, celery, 1/3 of the diced tomatoes and water to the pan. Stir-fry a minute or two (until seasonings are well-mixed and heated through) and let cool.

Place the brisket in a baking pan and surround with the cooked vegetables. Roast, covered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 3 hours or until a fork goes in and out of the meat easily. Remove, cool and refrigerate, reserving the vegetables. You can prepare this a day ahead of time.

The tomato-onion sauce can be done a day in advance as well: Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the frying pan; add the remaining onions and saute until onions are translucent. Then add the remaining diced tomatoes and simmer, covered, for a few minutes (until sauce is fragrant). Set aside or refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve the meat.

When ready to serve, remove any fat that accumulated on the brisket as it cooled. Cut, against the grain, into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Return the slices to the baking pan along with the reserved vegetables in which the meat was roasted earlier.

Reheat the brisket, covered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for about a half hour, until heated through.
Add to the tomato-onion mixture, olives, preserved lemons and 2 tablespoons each of the parsley and cilantro; heat in a saucepan.

Remove the brisket and some, or all, of the vegetables to a serving platter and serve, covered with the tomato-onion sauce and garnished with the remaining parsley and cilantro.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Note: Preserved lemons are sold in specialty shops and some supermarkets.

Recipe by Rosette Ilkouby Toledano.

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