Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food

 

Hanukkah ended on Sunday, but, brisket season continues. Robin Wachner, who as director of communications for the OC Fair & Event Center is something of an expert on deep-fried everything, made her family’s traditional 3-Hour Brisket over the holiday.

Wachner’s recipe is from her paternal grandmother, Lillian Zohn née Rosenfeld, who got it from her mother, Wachner’s great-grandmother—though as is often the case with heirloom recipes, the family doesn’t know how exactly how far back it goes. “It’s something I always want my mother to make when I visit her in Florida,” says Wachner, who lives in East Orange with her husband and son.

It’s easy to see why this particular preparation has persisted in the family food lexicon. Loads of rich, beefy-tomatoey sauce, chunky carrots and potatoes, and ultra-tender brisket slices make a delicious one-pot meal. You can serve with crusty bread, but Wachner’s family also serves kasha varnishkes, the classic buckwheat groat-farfalle side dish, because, well, sometimes potatoes aren’t quite enough starch. (Use the recipe on the medium-granulation Wolff’s Kasha box—so good.) 

Your house will rarely smell as good as it does when this brisket is burbling away in the oven. Time is quite flexible—brisket is one of those delightfully forgiving cuts of meat—you might pad the one-hour increments a bit if your brisket is more than four pounds, and you can certainly lower the heat to 300 or 275 degrees near the end if you need it to wait a bit. It’s done when a long fork can effortlessly pierce the thickest part of the roast.

Robin Wachner’s 3-Hour Brisket

(Makes 8 servings)

1 4-pound flat-cut brisket

Salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Water

6 carrots, peeled, cut in half, and then into 1-inch lengths

6 stalks celery, strings removed, cut into 1-inch lengths

2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce

5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously season brisket all over with salt and pepper. Heat Dutch oven or other large, oven-safe pot with lid and, starting fat-side-down, brown meat well on both sides. If brisket has been completely trimmed of exterior fat, use 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to brown. Remove to plate.

Add onion and garlic to pot, and sauté a few minutes, stirring, until onion begins to look translucent. Deglaze pot with about 1 cup water, scraping up browned bits. Return meat to pot fat-side-up, with any accumulated juices. Add carrots and celery to pot, season with salt and pepper. Add additional water to almost cover, leaving top of meat exposed.

Cover pot, put in oven, and cook 1 hour.

Add tomato sauce; cook 1 hour.

Add potatoes; cook 1 hour.

When brisket is very tender, carefully remove and slice across the grain. Serve with vegetables and sauce.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. Janice posted on 03/17/2014 09:40 AM
    Prescilla...this was delicious!!! Thanks for sharing...
showing all comments

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • Neighborhoods: Rancho Santa Margarita

    Rancho Santa Margarita’s Plaza El Paseo is a South County suburban mall with a twist. It’s the unexpected finds—a little gem of a florist, cozy spots to sample tea and wine, and a top-notch steakhouse across the street—that put it in a league of its own. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Bloody Marys

    Get your vegetables and booze in one convenient—and delicious—serving with what’s been hailed as America’s murkiest and most complex cocktail. Traditionally made with tomato juice, vodka, celery salt, horseradish, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, its origins are widely debated. Here are five superb O.C. renditions of the world-famous drink.

    Read More
  • Hot O.C. Neighborhood: East Side Costa Mesa

    This updated neighborhood doesn’t have to try hard to be interesting, original, surprising, and modern—it just is. Take the mile-long stretch of strip malls along 17th Street, between Newport Boulevard and Irvine Avenue, the heart of the renaissance. Foodies come for the Instagram-worthy Aussie-style meat pies at PieNot, coconut French toast at Plums Café, and braised pork panini at Pitfire Artisan Pizza. And that’s just the Ps. Other homegrown restaurants and shops tip toward lean-and-clean fare, such as the casual Jan’s Health Bar. Plus it’s the birthplace of Mother’s Market & Kitchen. Read More
  • Hot O.C. Neighborhood: Downtown Anaheim

    With a focus on food and community, downtown’s fresh look gets inspiration from the city’s rural roots. It takes resourcefulness to restore and imaginatively reuse old buildings, qualities the city’s founding farming families had, too. The new energy is centered on the Packing District, a two-block stretch of Anaheim Boulevard between Santa Ana Street and East Broadway: the restored 1920s-era Packard Building, now home to Anaheim Brewery and Umami Burger, and the 1919 Anaheim Citrus Packing House, with a food hall of locally based food-and-beverage artisans. Read More
  • Neighborhoods: Costa Mesa

    Chain restaurants and stores dominate most of the strip malls on Costa Mesa’s east side. But at Santa Ana Avenue and 17th Street, look a little closer and you’ll find indie boutiques and cafes tucked in among the usual suspects Read More
 
 
wine blog
 

stuff we love

Charitable Events Calendar

Close

Advertisement