HALLIE EPHRON: Every household has its holiday traditions, and mine (big surprise) are all about food.
Two days before Christmas finds me making dark chocolate-dipped orange rind. Gifts for my husband and son in law.
Christmas eve I'm cooking up a savory brisket with mushrooms and onions and carrots that I'm going to serve with crispy potato pancakes.
For dessert, mandelbrot -- biscotti-like cookies studded with almonds, maraschino cherries, and chocolate chips.
Usually this menu makes sense because Hanuka overlaps Christmas. This year it's confusing because Hanuka was too damned early but no one messes with my Thanksgiving turkey.
Christmas morning: I'm baking sticky buns (assembled the day before and waiting in the fridge). The smell brings everyone downstairs to open gifts... which we pretty much limit to stocking stuffers. But lots of them.
This year we have a baby in the house and I know she's going to revel in the wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbons. Looking forward to finding out what she thinks of sticky buns (hold the nuts). Until now her parents have kept her away from sweets.
The day after Christmas: Leftovers! If there are any.
Hallie Ephron's most delicious and easiest ever brisket
This savory pot roast cooks slowly and creates its own juices. I serve it with crispy potato pancakes (and sour cream).
Ingredients:1 three-pound brisket
2 T of light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 bottle of Heinz chili sauce
2 packages of Lipton onion soup mix
1 bottle of beer
8 carrots sliced into rounds 1/2” thick
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 pound of mushrooms sliced
1. In a Dutch oven over medium/high heat, sear the brisket in the oil on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and turn off the burner.
2. Layer the onion slices on the bottom of the pot.
3. Put the brisket back in on top of the onions, fat side up. Spread carrots and mushrooms over the top.
4. Sprinkle with soup mix, then dump on the chili sauce, then beer. Slosh it around.
5. Cover and cook in a 325-degree oven or on top of the stove over low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender.
6. Slice the meat and serve it on a platter with mounds of vegetables on the sides and the juices in a gravy boat.