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Low-and-Slow Peppery Roasts with Savory Gravy


I’ll admit it: I don’t go for the rare, red-meat thing. So when Chanie and I discussed experimenting with roasts,I offered to do the longer cooking method, which results in melt-in-your-mouth, juicy meat that is usually gone before you blink. This recipe is so simple because it uses so few ingredients. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly for an out-of-this-world dish for your Yom Tov table! The gravy idea was suggested by Mr. Epstein of Epstein Meats; once he mentioned it, my curiosity was piqued — I just had to see if this could really substitute for a mushroom sauce (for those who don’t use mushrooms). This recipe is a winner, simple to make and chockfull of flavor.


Prepare the Roasts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Cut an extra-large piece of Gefen Parchment Paper and place inside a nine- x 13-inch (20×30-centimeter) pan. Rinse the meat well and place into the pan.
2. Pour olive oil over meat and rub into both sides of the roast. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat, making sure to distribute evenly; rub in well. Fold the rest of the parchment paper over the meat so it’s well-wrapped. Cover pan tightly with foil, using a double layer so that no steam escapes.
3. Place pan in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Lower heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) and bake for another three-and-a-half to four hours. Serve with pan juices, or accompany with the gravy.

Prepare the Gravy

1. In a medium-sized deep pot, sauté onions in oil until golden. Add chicken gizzards, chicken soup, and water and simmer for two hours, or until diced gizzards are soft. (Keep on checking that the liquid doesn’t cook out; add more soup as necessary.)
2. Once gizzards are ready, pour in cold water mixed with potato starch and stir until liquid has thickened. Season with pepper, and salt, if desired.


Before I embarked on this recipe, I went to speak with Mr. Epstein of Epstein’s Meat in Lakewood. I described the assignment: using the same recipe with the same cooking method on three different cuts of meat — an expensive one (flanken), a middle-of-the-road piece, (minute roast and second-cut brisket), and a cheaper cut (the netted chuck).


Mr. Epstein explained that he only carries high-quality meat (in other words, no imported meat), but upon request, he was able to bring in a higher-quality imported meat, so that I could also experiment on a meat that falls into a less expensive category.


Mr. Epstein recommends always making sure there will be enough steam created when cooking meat, so that it will get soft (this was accomplished by wrapping the oil-moistened meat in the parchment and the tight coverings). Here are some of the other ideas he shared:


• Cook meat in water, allow it to boil for an hour and a half, then slice it, add it to a sauce, and bake it in the sauce to infuse it with the sauce flavor.

• Peel oranges and grapefruits and cook them in a few cups of sugar; allow to boil for a long time. It’ll become a mock duck sauce and can be used for baking chicken and meats.

• Prepare a batch of caramelized sugar and oil like you would for Yerushalmi kugel. Pour over your meat, cover tightly, and bake until soft.


For another option that’s equally as fantastic on all of these cuts of meat, try the following: sauté three large diced onions in oil over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring, until golden and caramelized. Rinse meat and pat dry. Place meat in a pan, season with salt, and layer onions under and over meat. Pour one cup white wine into pan and cover tightly. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) for three-and-a-half hours and allow to cool.


Photography by Hudi Greenberger
Styling by Renee Muller