The Brisket Reigns Supreme

The Brisket Reigns Supreme

The availability of so many foods year-round makes it hard to remember that foods can be seasonal, even meats! The turkey breast for example, is available for slicing at practically every neighborhood deli in America, but before artificial insemination, the naturally mating turkey was only available for lunch or dinner in November after being born in the Spring and fattening up on the bountiful prairies of summer!

In the past, many families would grow a single pig or cow and have it processed right before wintertime so that valuable calories would not need to be wasted feeding livestock and so that the cuts were consumed throughout the winter — along with pickled vegetables and preserved fruit — when food was hard to come by. Some cuts were consumed fresh and some given longer life through salting and other methods of preservation. If the family made it through the cold season, they would make their way to the early markets of the year to purchase a new pig or a new steer to start the cycle again.

Historically one of the last cuts to be consumed from the previous year’s harvest, the brisket provided valuable calories before the first foods of spring became available. As a result, March and April traditions abound with brisket as the centerpiece — no matter your religion, the brisket reigns supreme. A large cut from the chest of the steer, the brisket, like the hind leg of a pig which was turned into prosciutto, is an excellent cut to preserve as corned beef, pastrami or simply in salt.

This season, our chefs are happy to share two of our favorite recipes — Passover Braised Brisket and DIY Pastrami, starring our supremely marbled Akaushi brisket. Plus a recipe for a New York Sour, the perfect cocktail for the season and the dish!

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