Shit! What’s For Dinner?

‘Barbecued’ Brisket, Flourless Noodles, Matzo Ball Soup, and Garlicky White Beans

Photo: Sam Bloomberg-Rissman/Moment/Getty Images

This week’s picks start with a recipe for Hanukkah, brisket that requires low and slow cooking, with the final browning that can take as little as 10 minutes. Next up, Daniel’s flourless noodles that are fun to make every time. We’ve also got chicken soup with matzo balls, and a stick-to-your ribs white bean soup that you’ll be glad to have the leftovers for lunch.

‘Barbecued’ Brisket

Makes: 8 or more servings
Time: About 3 hours


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, more as needed
  • 1 whole beef brisket, about 5 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup dry red wine or water
  • ¼ cup wine or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven that can later be covered over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. When it is hot, add oil, swirl it around, then add beef. Sear meat for about 5 minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper; when nicely browned, remove from pot. Turn off heat under pot for a minute.
  2. Add onion to pot and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until softened, 5 to 10 minutes (if meat is very lean you might need to add a little oil). Add all remaining ingredients, stir, and cook for about a minute. Return meat to pot, nestling it in sauce.
  3. Cover pan, put it in oven, and cook until meat is tender, at least 2 hours and probably closer to 3. When it is done, you can refrigerate it in its liquid for 1 to 2 days before proceeding.
  4. Light a charcoal or gas grill or heat broiler; rack should be about 4 inches away from heat source. Drain meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill or broil on both sides until brown and crisp, just a few minutes. Meanwhile, skim cooking liquid of fat, warm gently, and use as sauce.

— Recipe published in the New York Times

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Makes:6 servings. Time: At least 2 hours


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6–9 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup minced or grated onion (optional)
  • ¼ cup rendered chicken fat or good-quality vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • About 1 cup matzo meal
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks


  1. Beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the stock. Stir in the onion if you’re using it, the fat, salt, and pepper. Add the matzo meal and stir to combine.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the matzo mixture. The dough should be quite moist, barely stiff enough to make into balls. If it’s too moist, add a little more matzo meal. Cover the dough and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. (To cook the matzo balls directly in the stock, use the larger quantity of stock.) Using wet hands, shape the dough into balls about1 inch in diameter.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the remaining stock to a boil, then reduce the heat so it bubbles steadily. Add the carrots and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently and cook the balls until expanded and set, about 30 minutes. Put them in soup bowls and ladle stock and carrots over them. Serve right away.

From How To Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Garlicky White Bean Soup

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 1¼– 1¾ hours


  • 1½ cups any dried white beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium garlic bulb, cloves peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for garnish


1. Put the beans, garlic, and rosemary in a large pot with 6 cups water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily.

2. Cook, stirring every 20 minutes or so and adding more water if the mixture gets too thick or dry, until the beans are tender and falling apart, 45 to 90 minutes depending on the bean and whether or not you soaked them first.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir vigorously to break them up even more. If you like, you can mash or purée some or all of the soup at this point. Taste, adjust the seasoning with more salt or pepper, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top of each bowl.

From How To Cook Everything: The Basics

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at

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