Monday, March 26, 2012
Typically when one thinks of a Shabbat roast, they think brisket. Not in my family. My mother rarely made brisket. Instead, she made brust deckle, a recipe handed down from her father. I'm really not sure how far back the recipe goes, but she handed it down to me and now this dish has become one of my specialties that people routinely ask for. Everybody who tries it, loves it. And everybody who tries it, asks me what it is.
Brust is Yiddish for breast. Deckle is a thick, fatty part meat from the ribs, or in this case, the breast. Typically you'll find it as chuck deckle, or, in a kosher butcher shop it may actually be called brust deckle. Because of its fattiness it's usually a cheaper cut of meat than the brisket, about $7.99 a pound. Hence my nickname, "the poor man's brisket" – perfect for a single guy who doesn't want to spend the money a brisket commands, but still wants a fantastic meal to impress. This article does a good job of explaining the deckle more thoroughly.
The prep time is less than 10 minutes but the cooking time is several hours, so this works best if you have a free evening or can run home for lunch during the work day, set it, and then take it out of the oven when you get home. I have never tried it in a slow cooker, but it should work. The end result is definitely worth the time. The meat is fork tender, sweet, and just melts in your mouth. Mmm, I might have to take a break from writing now and go finish that little bit leftover from Shabbat....
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbs light brown sugar
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce (Some varieties include anchovies, so be sure to check. I use World Harbors brand.)
1 tbs soy sauce
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Baby carrots and (peeled) sliced potatoes or baby potatoes to garnish
Mix the liquid ingredients and sugar, add two cups of water. Add the onions into the mixture and pour over the brust deckle. Garnish with baby carrots and potatoes (I use canned slices potatoes, there's no shame in this shortcut).
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for four to five hours. The longer it cooks, the more tender it gets. I like to leave it in for the full five hours and the meat then just melts in your mouth.
After cooking, let the meat cool and then refrigerate it overnight. When you're getting ready to serve, thinly slice the meat across the grain. Slicing it cold makes it much easier to handle. Then cover the meat and reheat it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and serve!
WARNING: With Pesach approaching you may be tempted to adapt this recipe for your seder. Unless you eat kitniyot (which we do in my family), don't. Mom tried it once with kosher l'Pesach ketchup and soy sauce, and the flavors were just wrong. The sweetness of the dish, however, makes it perfect for Rosh HaShanah, or just enjoy it for a regular Shabbat meal, like I did last week.