The Jewish New Year begins at sundown September 20 and there is a tradition at Rosh Hashanah to eat symbolic foods such as pomegranates, honey, honeycomb, honey sticks, apples, carrots, dates all meant to help ensure a good new year.
First course: Chicken Soup
Main course: Braised Brisket with Dates and Red Wine (Jamie will demo this)
Dessert: Honey Cake
FIRST COURSE: Chicken Soup
INGREDIENTS YIELD: about 1-gallon rich chicken stock
- 5 pounds chicken bones
- for the mirepoix (fragrant mix of vegetables)
- 6 medium carrots, rough chopped
- 2 large Spanish onions, rough chopped
- 4 celery ribs, rough chopped
- 1 bunch of parsley stems
- several sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- NO SALT! Since we are simmering this for hours, the stock will naturally evaporate a bit and adding salt here would cause the stock to be over salted
- Bring a large stock pot with bones and water to cover to the boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Dump out the water (it has all the “scum” from the bones and will make your stock cloudy).
- Refill the pot, just to the level of the bones, with cold water. Return the pot to the heat and simmer over LOW heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme and peppercorns.
- Simmer for 3 hours, without stirring. The bubbles should barely break the surface, so keep the temperature on low and don’t stir as that would cause any remaining particles of “scum” to cloud the stock.
- After 3 hours, turn off the heat and allow the stock to steep for 1 more hour.
- Strain out the bones and mirepoix and discard.
- Allow the fat to rise to the top and remove. (You can either cool the stock and refrigerate overnight and the fat will form a crisp “cap” which is easily removed with a spoon or you can allow the stock to cool in an ice bath and then using a ladle, you can skim the fat off the top.)
Cool the stock completely* before storing or turn it into BEST CHICKEN SOUP EVER.
SOUP SERVES: 4-6
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 4 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
- 1 celery root, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 3 celery ribs, sliced thinly
- 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 medium parsley root, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into medium dice or 4 skinless, chicken thighs, cut into medium dice
- 2 cups favorite noodles, uncooked
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- garnishes: chopped parsley
- add-ins: your best matzo balls, kreplach, croutons
- Simmer chicken stock, carrots, celery root, celery ribs, turnip, parsley root, chicken, noodles, salt and pepper over medium-low heat until vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Divide the soup between bowls or mugs and garnish with parsley.
*To quickly cool stocks, soups, braised dishes: divide the item to be cooled into small containers. Fill a sink with ice water and place the containers in the sink. Whisk occasionally and check the temperature.
MAIN COURSE: Braised Brisket with Dates and Red Wine
Naturally sweet and caramel flavored dates paired with wine, onions and garlic make this brisket extra special and over the top delicious. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs like thyme and rosemary to the braising liquid. These herbs will balance the sweetness and bring out flavor notes in the wine. Dried ancho chilies add earthiness and deep bass notes to round out this holiday brisket.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 ½ hours
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 12-14 pound whole brisket (whole brisket will yield a meltingly tender brisket)
- 2 large Spanish onions, sliced
- 2 whole heads garlic, sliced in half crosswise to expose the cloves
- 2 cups chopped pitted dates
- 3 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 320F
- Season brisket with salt and pepper. Nestle brisket in a large roasting pan. Scatter onions, garlic and dates and chilies over brisket.
- Whisk wine, broth and tomato paste together and pour over brisket. Cover with parchment paper and then a layer of foil (foil can leach into food, especially acidic foods like tomato paste).
- Braise brisket for 3 ½ – 4 hours or until a fork can be inserted easily without resistance.
- Remove brisket and allow to cool before slicing across the grain.
Cool braising liquid before ladling fat off. Transfer juices to a saucepan and reduce by ½ to a sauce consistency.
DESSERT: Honey Cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup best quality honey
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, soda and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a separate bowl whisk together honey, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce and apple cider.
- Using either a mixer or by hand, whisk liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.