National Cherry Tart Day with Wine-Braised Brisket

image_1216816Beef brisket is the centerpiece of many Jewish holiday meals, particularly at Passover, and every family has their favorite way of preparing it. There are countless recipes out there, but how many do you need besides your grandmother’s? At least one more: This one!

Why? Because the meat is slowly braised in Pinot Noir, and the cherry notes in the wine pair brilliantly with dried tart cherries, which plump up with winey beef juices to become little mini-pouches of flavor on their own. Add to that a bit of star anise, which perfumes the brisket and your home with an exotic and enticing hint of licorice. Season the mixture with the sweet-and-sour agrodolce dance of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, and you have a brisket that is at once counterintuitively familiar and wonderfully different. Like all braised meats, brisket improves in flavor, and slices more easily, if made a day ahead and chilled (see Cooks’ Notes). Continue reading