Perk Up Your Pesach!

With the plethora of prepared products for Pesach, you can almost make the same dishes as you would cook for a festive dinner year round. However, if your family does not use many purchased products, coming up with tasty dishes requires a bit more ingenuity and creativity. Here at The Peppermill we aim to do just that! Spice up your fare with some of our delightful recipes below.

Savory Brisket

4–5 pound brisket

20 cloves garlic, optional

1/2 cup sugar

1 quart chicken stock (set some aside when you make your large pot of soup — it comes in handy in many recipes)

3 large onions, sliced

3 tablespoons Pesach oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 500° F.

Using a paring knife, cut small slits in the brisket. Stuff brisket all over with garlic, if using. Rub sugar on both sides of the brisket. Place brisket in a baking pan or casserole and bake until browned on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, turn brisket and return to oven until browned on both sides.

Reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Add enough chicken stock to the pan to come up 1 inch on sides, cover with foil and bake one hour.

While brisket is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté onions in oil, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and most liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Remove brisket from oven after one hour and add caramelized onions. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Cover and continue to bake until very tender but not falling apart, another hour. Remove from oven and cool.

Place brisket on a carving board and slice. Strain reserved cooking liquids and pour over sliced meat.

Brisket is better if made a day in advance so return it to the pan, refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Chicken in Orange Sauce

1 whole chicken

1 orange, peeled

3 whole garlic cloves, optional

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons olive oil or cottonseed oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons potato starch

Orange slices for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Rinse and pat chicken dry inside and out. Place orange, garlic cloves (if using) and cinnamon stick inside the cavity of the chicken. Tie legs and wings for nice presentation. Place breast-side down in a 9”x13” roasting pan. If you use a disposable pan, double it for stability as the chicken will release liquid and it will be difficult to remove it safely from the oven. Rub chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken 45 minutes and remove from oven. Turn chicken over using two wooden spoons or spatulas. Return to oven and roast 45 minutes longer.

In medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook the orange juice, broth, pepper and ginger for about 15–20 minutes. Whisk in the potato starch until smooth. Continue cooking until the gravy thickens and begins to bubble.

Place the whole chicken on a platter. Remove the orange, garlic and cinnamon stick from the cavity. Pour the sauce over all. Garnish with the orange slices. Serve immediately.

Roast Veal With Wine Sauce

3–4 pound boneless veal roast

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

2 to 3 onions, sliced

4 to 5 carrots sliced

1 small knob celery, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet red wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon potato starch

In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil. Sear veal roast, turning to brown each side. Remove veal from pan and place in a roasting pan.  Add 3 tablespoons oil, vegetables and seasonings. Sauté vegetables until lightly browned.  Add 1/3 cup wine. Boil 5 minutes or until cooked down and concentrated. Add to veal, cover pan and roast in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours.

Remove veal from oven, remove from pan and allow to rest 20 minutes.  Mash vegetables well. Add 1 cup stock and 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 remaining tablespoons wine. Whisk into vegetables in the pan. Slice veal into quarter-inch slices and serve with warm sauce.