Although this recipe calls for 40 cloves of garlic, Jayne Cohen from Epicurious recommends 36.
"Why thirty-six cloves? Beginning with aleph, which equals one, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet stands for a number, and so every word has a numerical value. All multiples of eighteen, the numerical value of the Hebrew word chai, life, are considered especially auspicious, which is why donations to charity and wedding and bar mitzvah gifts are often given in multiples of eighteen."
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 lb case of KOL Foods AT French Brisket
- About 40 cloves of peeled garlic
- 1 bag peeled pearl onions, peeled
- 2 large carrots, sliced into quarters lengthwise
- 2 large stalks celery, sliced into quarters lengthwise
- 1 stalk parsnip sliced into quarters lengthwise
- 2 large potatoes or sweet potatoes sliced into thick circles
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs,
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan or casserole large enough to accommodate the meat in one layer.
Salt and pepper the brisket on both sides, place in pan and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter and set aside.
Add garlic cloves and onions and toss about with a little more salt and pepper until golden, remove to a bowl or plate.
Add carrots and celery to pan, once browned remove to the plate.
Add potatoes slices, brown and remove to plate.
Add wine and deglaze the pan scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom with a spatula. Add the stock, thyme, and rosemary sprigs, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Place vegetables back into pot and top with brisket and onions and garlic. Cover the pot and place in the oven.
Cook, basting every half-hour, until the meat is fork tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours or longer. (As the meat cooks, periodically check that the liquid is bubbling gently. If it is boiling rapidly, turn the oven down to 300°F.)
The brisket tastes best if left overnight.
Cool the brisket in the pan sauce, cover well with foil or lid, and refrigerate at least until the fat congeals. Scrape off all solid fat. Remove the brisket and slice thinly across the grain.
Prepare the gravy: Bring the liquid braising mixture to room temperature, then strain it, reserving the garlic and vegetables and discarding the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the liquid. Puree the cooked garlic with 1 cup of the defatted braising liquid in a food processor or a blender. Transfer the pureed mixture, the remaining braising liquid, and the rest of the cooked garlic back to the pot. Add the chopped rosemary, minced garlic, and lemon zest. Boil down the gravy over high heat, uncovered, to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Rewarm the brisket and vegetables in the gravy until heated through (or place in an oven at 200 degrees to stay warm until ready to serve, the meat will just get more tender as it warms).
Arrange the sliced brisket on a serving platter over vegetables. Spoon some of the hot gravy all over the meat and serve.