The younger son of my neighbor across the street was my middle child's best friend, so my kid lived over there during most of his non-school waking hours. One day he came home for a rare meal here, and raved about his bff's mom's brisket recipe. She was nice enough to give me a copy of it.
It's supposed to be her great-great grandmother's recipe, but the use of soy sauce and ground ginger makes me think that it didn't exactly come with her on the boat over from Eastern Europe. It's a pretty good recipe, even if when I make it, it doesn't taste like her's, according to middle child. The most likely reason is that she uses different brands. Who knows?
By the way, take a look at the photo. ShopRite sells its own label of kosher chicken broth! You can't find it in the kosher aisle, at least at my ShopRite. It's hiding on the lowest shelf in the treyf soup aisle. The Kosher dept. mashgiach didn't believe me when I first asked him why the broth is not in the kosher aisle. He insisted that they didn't carry SR kosher broth. I had to go all the way over to the other aisle, pull cans of chicken broth (and beef broth as well, as long as I was over there), then schlep back over to prove to him that, yes indeedy, the stuff existed. But I digress ...
Although it can be sliced and served immediately after cooking, brisket one of those things that are much easier to slice, AND tastes MUCH better, the next day.
Ellen's Great-Great-Grandma's Brisket
Serves around 4, with leftovers.
1 thick-cut brisket, 2 or more lbs., excess fat trimmed
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon plus 1 Tablespoon oil
approx. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 cups (or 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth (low-sodium preferred), more as needed
In a large wide-bottom heavy-lidded pot, heat the 1 teaspoon oil. Saute onions over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until just starting to brown.
Push onions to the side, heat the remaining tablespoon oil, then add brisket. Sprinkle with half the ginger, then sear a couple of minutes until nicely browned. Using tongs, carefully turn brisket over, sprinkle with remaining ginger and repeat searing. Although the recipe calls for a 2 pound brisket, the only one left at the butcher was this "tiny" 1.5 pound cut.
Combine broth and soy sauce. Pour over brisket. Boil, then cover, reduce heat and very gently simmer for 2 hours, turning brisket every 1/2 hour or so. If necessary, add more broth to keep most of brisket covered, but it's not necessary to completely cover it. I have never had to add more broth.
Let cool for 1/2 to one hour, then refrigerate, either in the same pot or by carefully transferring the brisket and broth into a large covered casserole dish.
On the next day or three, skim off the congealed fat on top, then remove brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain (the brisket, not the cutting board).
Return the sliced brisket back to the pot or casserole, then reheat.
Serve with rice alongside. Spoon cooking broth over both.