UPPER WEST SIDE — One of the city's oldest kosher butchers has Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur all planned out.
Fischer Bros. & Leslie, which sits on West 72nd Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue and has been serving the neighborhood for more than 65 years, is preparing for one of its busiest seasons — the High Holidays.
It's an all-hands-on-deck situation with everyone pitching in to handle orders in the store and deliver them, said co-owner Paul Whitman, the son-in-law of Leslie Niederman who started the business with brothers Morris and Louis Fischer.
But you can beat the craziness by ordering a cut of brisket a week beforehand and freezing it, then cooking it a day ahead of time and reheating it, suggested Whitman.
Whitman shared a brisket recipe that benefits from cooking ahead of time and letting the flavors meld and marinate.
Brisket "is something that’s best prepared in advance so you don’t have to worry about having it come out at the right time. You can cook it a couple of days ahead and then pop it in the oven," Whitman said.
Guests will appreciate that "it’s also a very traditional dish for the holiday," he added.
And it's perfect for garlic-lovers.
"Once cooked, the garlic becomes sweet and mild and quite tasty," Whitman said.
Brisket Braised with Garlic
36 Cloves Garlic, unpeeled (2 cups)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 to 7 lbs. 1st or 2nd cut brisket
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 Cups Chicken Broth
4 Sprigs fresh Thyme (or 2 Tsp dry)
2 Sprigs fresh Rosemary (or 1 Tsp dry)
1 Tsp. grated Lemon Zest (rind)
Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
Drop the garlic cloves into a small saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain immediately. Peel when cool enough to handle. Set aside on paper towels to dry.
Add olive oil to a heavy casserole and brown brisket well, about 10 minutes on each side then set meat aside. Add the garlic cloves to the same pan and cook until golden on the edges. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Add the stock, thyme and rosemary sprigs and reduce the heat to a simmer. Salt and pepper the brisket to taste on all sides and return to the pan. Spoon the garlic cloves over the meat Cook brisket, covered at 350 degrees, for 2.5 to 3 hours, basting occasionally.
Cool the brisket in the pan sauce, cover with foil, and refrigerate until fat congeals. Scrape off solid fat. Remove brisket from pan and slice thinly across the grain.
Prepare the gravy: Warm braising mixture slightly then strain it, reserving the garlic and discarding the thyme and rosemary. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from liquid. Puree about one half of the cooked garlic with 1 cup of the braising liquid in a food processor or a blender. If you want a smooth gravy, puree all of the cooked garlic cloves. Transfer the pureed mixture, the remaining braising liquid, and the rest of the cooked garlic to a skillet. Add the chopped rosemary, minced garlic and lemon zest. Reduce gravy over high heat, uncovered, to desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Rewarm brisket in gravy until heated through and serve.