Local cookbook author and cook, Paula Shoyer, shares her ratatouille brisket recipe for Passover.
4 to 5 pounds second cut brisket, rinsed and dried very well with paper towels
3 tablespoons potato starch
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 onions, halved and chopped into ¼ -inch slices
1 large eggplant, about 1 pound, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ pound zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups water, or more as needed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 basil leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup Italian flat parsley leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan with sides over medium-high heat. Sprinkle potato starch on both sides of the meat, shaking off excess, and brown in pan in batches if necessary, until you see crispy parts on the meat, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a roasting pan.
Reduce heat to medium. Add another 2 tablespoons oil and the onions to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until they start to brown, scraping any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add another tablespoon of oil and add the eggplant and zucchini, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often.
Add the tomato paste and press into the pan and stir to distribute. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Scoop up half of the vegetables and place into a bowl. Set aside until cooled and then refrigerate. Add the crushed tomatoes and water to the pan and bring to a boil.
Pour the vegetables and sauce on top of the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
While the meat is cooking, place the basil, parsley and garlic into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
When the brisket is cooked, remove pan from oven, place meat on a cutting board and slice against the grain into thin slices. Return the slices to the pot. Take the reserved ratatouille and spread on top of the slices. If the pan seems dry, add ½ cup boiling water and mix in. Add more pepper if desired. Cover and return to the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat is tender when a fork is inserted. Remove from oven and sprinkle the basil, parsley and garlic mixture on top, pressing the garlic into the tomato sauce.
reprinted with permission from Paula Shoyer and www.kosher.com