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