Brisket au Poivre Vert

Brisket is often the main dish for holidays and special occasions in Eastern-European Jewish homes. Typically it is cooked until quite tender with onions, vegetables, and potatoes, seasoned with salt, paprika, and pepper. This recipe is a more interesting variation with green peppercorns. Green peppercorns are available in brine, freeze-dried, or in vinegar. They have a sharp but very pleasant flavor and paired with the green peppers, help create a special treat from this sometimes bland dish.


Preheat oven to 325°.
Chop the onions and green peppers. Put half of these vegetables with the finely chopped small carrot on the bottom of large roasting pan. Rub the brisket with paprika. Place the brisket over the onion/pepper/carrot mixture; cover with remaining onion and green pepper. Add the peppercorns and spices on top of the brisket. Put the carrots and potatoes around the brisket. Cover the pan with two heavy layers of foil, sealing securely. Bake for 4-5 hours until the meat is very tender.

Serve the brisket in thin slices on a large platter, surrounded by the carrots and potatoes. Put a small amount of the cooked green peppers and onions and peppercorns on top of the brisket, and serve the remainder with the pan juices in a gravy bowl.

This is a hearty but elegant main course. It can stand alone with a green salad, but goes very well with a rice or noodle side dish to absorb some of the delicious gravy. I suggest broccoli and rice, white and wild rice, or a noodle kugel.

Corned-Beef au Poivre Vert

One Thursday evening while I was preparing Shabbat dinner for guests, I went to test the "brisket au poivre vert" for doneness. The color looked a bit odd to me, so I cut a small piece of the meat. I realized that in my haste in preparing the meal I had used a first cut corned beef brisket instead of a regular brisket. Amazingly this turned out to be a wonderful variation of the dish. It's delicious as is and also tasty with some French Dijon mustard on the side. This delightful "error" is now Corned-beef au Poivre Vert (in fact the French word for corned beef is corned-beef!).

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