We just read a nice piece in Jewish Daily Forward on the new breed of Jewish cooks rehabilitating their culture's tired old take on brisket.
We've never had much access to the Jewish style of brisket. We know it to be a big part of their food culture but when it comes brisket time for us it always means one of two things: Build a big fire out back and wrestle the brisket out of the fridge or fire up the bike and head out to Taylor or Lockhart and buy some off the pit of one of the old masters.
But that doesn't diminish our interest one bit. When we're not eating brisket or writing about brisket, we like reading about brisket. Particularly if it's an exotic take like what the Jews have historically done [ baking a brisket! boiling a brisket! ].
The things people do to a perfectly fine brisket never ceases to amaze us.
But now a new crop of young Jews are taking a hold of the classic cut and lending modern technique to the stodgy old preparations of their forebears.
Micah Wexler of Mezze in Los Angeles sous-vides his brisket for 16 hours before shredding the beef and sautéing it. We don't have a sous vide machine but we've eaten enough food prepared this way to know that it is a phenomenal way to slow cook a tough cut. We'd love to visit Mezze and try this man's food.
Alon Shaya of Domenica in New Orleans also goes the sous vide route. We've eaten at his restaurant many times and maintain that it is the top kitchen in the city but unfortunately we've never tried his brisket. We're putting it on our to do list if we can ever get past the oxtails and fried chicken livers.
RUB Barbecue up in New York has a Jewish pit boss; Andrew Fischel. He makes a good observation in the article saying "Smoked brisket is a lot like pastrami. In fact, it is pastrami, down to being served by the pound on butcher paper."
While we're naturally distrustful of any barbecue served in a non Southern state if we ever make our way up to New York we'd be tempted to check Fischel's joint out and see if his bona fides are in order.
Our lone experience[s] of eating at a proper Jewish restaurant came via our walks through the 8th district of Budapest where we supped at the table of Andras Singer, the owner of Fulemule [Restaurant Nightingale].
We lost our mind at this Jewish soul food haven and had some memorably great brisket but we reckon Andras has some Texan in him as he slow smokes his meat til it's fork tender. There's not a lot of barbecue in Budapest but Fulemule more than sated our cravings.
After reading the article in Jewish Daily Forward we're left with our mouths watering and are wondering if there might be a barbejew in Central Texas? If so we'd love to hear from you.
Longform on Fulemule over here http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/wordpress-2.8.6/wordpress
and the piece on modern Jewish takes on brisket here http://www.forward.com/articles/143862/?utm_medium=edit