When someone tells you her brisket is her “crowning glory,” you drop everything and you make that brisket. “Cook it low and slow and I promise you a brisket you can serve with pride,” says Jessamyn Rodriguez. Brisket boasts aside, Jessamyn is best known for baked goods and for doing good. She’s the founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, the New York–based social enterprise that helps immigrant women and others launch careers and food businesses. When you make Jessamyn’s brisket, save some for sandwiches and make them with challah or brioche. (Just FYI, you can order those breads from Hot Bread’s website for overnight delivery!)
Tip: To serve the brisket later, lay the slices in another roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate. Transfer the onion reduction from the pan to a large jar and refrigerate. The brisket and onions will keep for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, remove and discard the layer of fat from the top of the sauce. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the brisket and cover with foil. Warm for 30 minutes in a 300°F oven and serve according to the recipe. To make sandwiches, heat the slices in a skillet (Jessamyn prefers cast iron) over medium-high heat until they start to brown and the fat and edges get crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Toast the bread or rolls you plan to use, spread with some warmed-up onion reduction, add the meat, sprinkle with cilantro, and enjoy.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and adjust the racks to accommodate a large, lidded roasting pan with a heavy bottom or a Dutch oven. The pan should be large enough for the meat to lie flat.
- Generously season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Spread the onions over the bottom of the roasting pan or Dutch oven, adding extra onion slices as needed to completely cover the bottom.
- In a bowl, combine the garlic, ketchup, tomato paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread half the sauce on the non-fatty side of the brisket, massaging it into the meat. Place the brisket, sauce-side down, on top of the onions. Spread the remaining sauce on the fatty side of the brisket. Put the lid on the pan.
- Bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat shreds easily with a fork. Remove the lid and bake for about another hour, until the onion and the liquids have reduced to a thick sauce. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Slice the brisket against the grain into ¼-inch-thick pieces.
- To serve, lay the brisket slices on a serving platter. Using a spoon, remove and discard some of the fat floating on the onions at the bottom of the pan. Spoon the onion reduction over the brisket and top with the cilantro. Serve any leftover onion reduction in a gravy boat.
Reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Cherry Bombe, Inc. Photography by Alpha Smoot. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.