I don't like to stereotype, but I think it is safe to say that a high percentage of Jews ... love brisket.
Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. The term brisket usually refers to beef or veal.
While some - especially Texans - like to barbecue their briskets, in traditional Jewish cooking the brisket is braised as a pot roast.
How to Prepare Great Jewish Brisket
Buy good brisket meat (meat #3 in Israel). The brisket should have good marbling between white fat and dark colored meat. The fat should be distributed throughout the meat rather than just in one area.
Jewish brisket should be slow cooked. Whether the recipe is for a savory or sweet sauce, Jewish briskets taste best when slow cooked. In addition, there is less shrinkage of the meat at lower cooking temperatures.
Thirdly, it is very important to slice the brisket correctly. Brisket must be sliced thinly and sliced against the grain. If brisket is not sliced against the grain, it will be tough rather than tender.
Why Prepare Jewish Brisket for the Holidays
Jewish brisket is the perfect holiday entree for many reasons.
Brisket is best when prepared in advance. I cook my brisket a day before the holiday, slice it, and then store it in the refrigerator. Then just before serving, I heat the brisket. Brisket made in advance and allowed to sit tastes better than freshly made brisket. In addition, making the brisket in advance means less last-minute holiday prep work and less mess to clean up. My mother makes her holiday brisket a week in advance, and then stores it in the freezer until the holiday.
In addition, since Jewish brisket is generally cooked in a tightly covered roasting pan, it turns out tender and juicy. So, the meat does not dry out even when it is reheated on a hot plate on the second day of a Jewish holiday.
Lastly, when sliced thinly and served on a platter with gravy, brisket makes a festive entree. And brisket cooked in a sweet sauce is particularly fitting for the Jewish New Year.