Brisket is a traditional Ashkenazi dish for any big meal, from Rosh Hashanah to Passover, and though it's considered a fairly fancy offering for a festive meal, it doesn't have to be a pain in the tuchis. Brisket comes from the chest of the cow and it's very flavorful, but it can be tough and stringy, too. The key to an excellent brisket is to keep the meat covered while it's cooking, and to give it plenty of liquid to absorb so it doesn't get too dry.
Good brisket can be made with very little work, requiring only a very large pot with a cover and a good deal of time to cook. Best of all, brisket is often better the day after it has been made, when it has been given time to rest. This makes it an ideal entree for the second day of a two day holiday. Once reheated it's better than ever.
This recipe originally called for sherry, but when a friend brought over a bottle of Farbrengen brand semi-dry red wine as a joke (Farbrengen being the only brand of wine I know of that features pictures of Hasidim on the label) I decided to try it in our family's brisket for Rosh Hashanah. The reviews were excellent, so from now on when I make brisket I'm only using sweet Kiddush wine like Farbrengen or Manischewitz.
Sprinkle seasonings over meat and rub in lightly. Sear the meat in 500F degree oven for 10 minutes on each side. Combine liquids and vegetables, pour over meat, cover and cook at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Freezes well.
Tamar Fox is an associate editor at MyJewishLearning.com. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Vanderbilt University, and a BA from the University of Iowa. She has worked as the editor of the religion blog at Jewcy.com. She spent a summer as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and was a Senior Apprentice Artist for four years at Gallery 37 in Chicago.