Another brisket of mine with wacky ingredients that comes out to die for! Just ask all the guests that were at my Seder Demo last night: They were falling like flies! So sorry about indulging in some un-ladylike swagger! This star was recently born when I was tinkering with coffee, molasses and bourbon, a frequent combo in barbecues and short ribs, as a possible base for my brisket sauce, and I know it sounds like it would put some more hair on the chests of lumberjacks; but lo and behold, the results were fork-tender meat, and a wonderfully dark, balanced and unctuous sauce, much more toned down than the seemingly reckless sum of its parts. To adapt the dish for Passover I simply substitute honey for the molasses, and brandy for the bourbon, and it worked just as gloriously. Go for it! PS: Please don’t believe anyone who will tell you first-cut brisket is not as moist and tender as its second-cut fat and unappealing slab of a counterpart: they will never say that again after they taste this!
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Cover tightly with foil and bake two hours. Turn the brisket over, and bake uncovered one more hour. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and wait about 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile strain the cooking liquids into a small saucepan, pressing hard on the solids (and discarding them), and reduce on a high flame to about two and a half cups.
In response to FAQ: No problem freezing the brisket. Here’s how I like to do it: Slice the brisket. Place the slices side by side vertically in a pan, tightly packed together like a deck of cards, just as if you were serving it now, and pour your gravy over it. cover the pan air-tight, and freeze. To reheat: place the frozen pan at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour, or a little longer, until heated through. Or: leave the pan out to thaw a few hours, then reheat at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, or a little longer, until heated through.
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