|Heeeeeere's the beef!|
I went through my hugely massive knish library of 4 or 5 old Jewish cookbooks and poked around for meat knish recipes online. What struck me the most? The recipes I found were not that different from stuffed cabbage, derma, or perogie stuffing. Cooked meat is ground up; a secondary meat is ground up for texture; a starch or grain is added for filler; a binder is needed; and a seasoning, typically salt and pepper, is dashed in. Lung was mentioned a few times as the secondary meat, which unlike some organ meats (I'm looking at you, liver!!), is mild in flavor. Not readily available at my local markets, I picked up some tripe.
|I do, I DO have a stomach for brisket knishes!|
So first a rough chop...
|The Chop House|
|The Grind House|
|The Hash House|
In the morning, I prepped:
- A cup of kasha (which yields 3 cups once cooked); its whole granulation makes a nice match for the size of the grind of the meat.
- Caramelized onions (a few pounds of onions with shortening and salt in the oven for a few hours, overlapping the meat cooking).
- The potatoes -- boiled and mashed to make a batch of dough.
|Brisket Knishes, nikkit and raw!|
|I've never seen such a large circumknishen...|
I immediately noticed how crumbly the filling was -- next time gotta up the eggs for more binding power.
|From top left: Tiny, Charlie, Bruiser, Chuck, Sloppy, Jerome, Biggie Smalls, Sloppy 2, Precious, Egghead, Dumdum and Horace|
Outta the oven, cut open and...
|Crazy Sexy Crumby|
Cooking Brisket: Made up a brisket recipe on the fly, as I was well familiar with the cooking method from my culinary training -- drop the meat in a heavy pot with lid, cover with liquid and aromatics, bake low (250 to 300ish) for 3 or more hours, let rest before slicing thin.
Into the cast iron pot went:
- a quart of beef stock
- a full head of crushed garlic
- a table spoon of brown sugar
- a teaspoon of salt
- a teaspoon of coriander
- a dash of smoked paprika
- a dash of Worcestershire sauce
|Before - Limp Brizket|
|After - A brisket only a bubbe could love.|
Bubbe: My grandmother (and probably yours, too) had a big, cast iron meat grinder that attached to her counter top to do things just like this, in the days before the modern supermarket where you could just go pick up chopped meat. I admit that
- it made me miss my Ema and
- it made me regret I never did any cooking with her.
Tripe: The editor at the Forward was concerned about the tripe factor -- the readers might be put off by its inclusion in the recipe. So I suggested other filler/softeners, like portobello duxelle and TVP, for those squeamish around offal. I guess that's just how we roll at Knishery NYC -- no half-steppin' in the exploration of knishitude. I don't know if tripe and lung is the future of the knish, but you can't go into the future if you don't know the past. I gotta start working on the lung/tripe/gefilte tripleplay knish...