D’s birthday falls on Passover this year, which means I can’t get away with thrice-a-day matza brei as our only sustenance. For the first time in a long time, I will be cooking a meal on Passover in actual, non-disposable pans, and serving food to actual friends on actual plates. This small feat makes me feel like an actual grown-up. What that says about me, or the holiday, or both, is a conversation for another day. For now, we need to talk about our menus.
Were my birthday on Passover – and seriously, I love food too much for that to be the case, so phew for February birthdays – I’d probably want a big Greek salad, a plate full of avocado in different preparations, and a dessert made with no small quantity of egg yolks, cream, and chocolate. But this is D; not much of a dessert person, undying lover of meat. We’ll be having brisket.
Our brisket is from KOL Foods, a purveyor of sustainable, grass-fed beef that also is kosher. The brisket’s flavor is good enough — and, considering the astronomical cost, rare enough in our house — that I’m taking a minimalist’s approach to cooking it. Instead of my usual pomegranate molasses recipe, I’ve settled on the famed approach of Nach Waxman. It’s deceivingly simple: onions, tomato paste, and one carrot. But in my experience, no recipe celebrates the flavor of brisket more than his.
As for the rest of the meal, I’m planning to slow-roast a mess of red onions until they become sweet and soft. I’ll also make a carrot kugel, because kugel is D’s favorite, and it’s her day.
But the brisket can’t last forever (at least, not this brisket), and chocolate pudding/mousse/ice cream only gets us so far. Many of our other meals are likely to include a heaping scoop of this pâté. It’s pictured here with sourdough. Of course, it’s better on sourdough; everything’s better on sourdough. But if matzah is your cracker (it’s not bread, people), this pâté will make it taste like something, something delicious.
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