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I owe it all to Nora Ephron! My Brisket that is!

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Today I have decided to re post a blog I did a long time ago. I dedicate this blog to Nora Ephron who lost her battle to cancer at the age of 71.  Nora was known for such memorable movies as Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia to name a few.  Her book Heartburn is on my bookshelf in my kitchen with my other cookbooks, very worn and stained from years of going to it for her brisket recipe which I made every year for the holidays to rave reviews.

Rest in peace Nora Ephron, my thoughts are with your family and thank you for all you gave us.

Heartburn by Nora Ephron published in 1983 page133, recipe index page 179 changed my life! Never before had I made a brisket until finding this recipe in the novel Heartburn.  Once I needed to make a brisket, this was the recipe I tried and it has gotten me rave reviews every time.  So as I get ready to make this brisket for the holidays, I would like to share the recipe with you!

This is an easy recipe and had ingredients I remember my mother using in the 60’s when she cooked like onion soup mix and condensed cream of mushroom soup. I took it upon myself to add vegetables like canned Le Sueur young sweet peas, because my mother used them in her Shepard’s Pie, carrots and potatoes to make it a one pan meal and it has worked quite well.

I learned a few tricks in brisket making over the years as well!

  • The first time I made the brisket and cooked it as directed, I found it difficult to slice! The brisket was shredding on me! So from then on I sliced the meat 2 hours into cooking and the problem was solved.
  • This brisket recipe could be made the day before and reheated or on the day you want to serve it!
  • Once I tried making the brisket without the vegetable on the day before and added the vegetables and potatoes when I reheated the brisket. I found the vegetables and potatoes did not cook nor did they have the flavor they were suppose to have! I was microwaving the vegetables to get them cooked even though they were in the oven for over an hour when I was reheating the brisket. I never made that mistake again.

My love of cooking comes from my mother who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1973 at the age of 44 and for some reason this recipe reminds me of her!  I believe if she had this recipe, she would have made it as well! This recipe just has that homey feeling!  I hope you enjoy the brisket as well as I do!

Brisket Recipe courtesy of Nora Ephron’s book Heartburn Originally Lillian Hellman’s Pot Roast

A nice 4-pound piece of beef, the more expensive the better.  I use a flat cut of brisket.

Put it into a good pot with one can of cream of mushroom soup, an envelope of dried onion soup mix, one large chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 2 cups of red wine and 2 cups water.

Add a crushed bay leaf and 1 teaspoon thyme and basil

Note:  I put all the ingredients into the pan, mix and then add the meat

Now I add the vegetables and potatoes.

Cover and bake in a 350° oven for 3 ½ hours.  Remove after 2 hours and slice and return to oven to continue baking until tender!


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