Adafina is one of many warm, overnight dishes (hamim) prepared for the Jewish sabbath. Jews are prohibited from cooking on the sabbath, but, on the other hand have an obligation to enhance the joy and festivity of the sabbath with warm, abundant food. They have learned to fulfill these potentially conflicting obligations by devising dishes which can slowly cook overnight from Friday afternoon until Saturday noon, when the family returns from synagogue to enjoy sabbath lunch. In the days before each family had adequate cooking facilities at home, such warm dishes were put into a communal bakery oven. Today, each family has a special warming tray or crockpot in their home to prepare such dishes. Each group of Jews has its own special formulation for the sabbath, such as cholent, tzimmes, t'fina, adafina, etc. Generally these include meat or chicken with such starches as potatoes, rice, barley and beans. This particular overnight dish is meant for Passover and uses matzo instead of beans or barley.


Put brisket in a very large pot. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat; cook 15 minutes. Skim fat. Add everything besides matzas. Bring to an even simmer. Just before the sabbath begins, check the liquid level (it should be 1 inch above the solid ingredients), add matzas, and cover securely. Serve on Saturday noon with the soup part first, then the meat and vegetables following on a large serving platter. Adafina needs only some matzo, a green salad and a compote for dessert for a filling and delicious Passover sabbath meal.
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