Monday, September 23, 2019


It seems like everyone is talking about brisket these days. Well, maybe not everyone but my friend Fred has mentioned it so often it sounds like a chorus. I think Costco had it on sale recently and he asked me to pick some up. Alas, there’s no room in our freezer to store brisket. However after filling up a page about lamb chops I told Fred I would give brisket equal time.

In fact I know nothing about brisket. But I know nothing about many things including fly fishing, sub-atomic particles, Gregorian chants, the Third Punic War and how just about anything works. 

I can tell you that it may be the only word that rhymes with biscuit… unless you consider Triscuit a word.

Maybe brisket is one of those staples one should always have at the ready in case people drop in. There are occasions when pickled herring just won’t do. This might be why I don’t get invited to dinner parties anymore. Do people still give dinner parties? It’s been so long I forgot which fork to use.

I’ve always associated brisket with Jewish tables. In fact I thought it might be a Yiddish word. A derivative of Bris as in circumcision.....but let's not go there. It seems to be standard fare for high holidays, what everyone is waiting for after enduring all the arcane mumbles.

However a map of your average cow shows the state of Brisket bordered by Shank or Shin to the south, Flank to the east and Chuck above. The brisket is Tennessee-like in shape on some Google sites and more New York on others. But always located in the chest area and nowhere near the Sirloin or Tenderloin. I’m glad we’ve settle that much.

Any notion I had, as a member of the tribe, that brisket was religiously-based were delusional. Texans called it BBQ. My mother called it pot roast. For all I know the Chinese may assign it to column B as number 37 on the menu presented as beef-broccoli. It’s also a favorite in Korea, Thailand, Germany and Italy. It could be the universal dish over which summit meetings are held….unless the leaders are vegetarians in which case a brisket-like substance must be concocted with transformational soy beans and massively worked tofu.

However brisket is a mainstay in Kosher or non-Kosher delis. It is the mother of corned beef or further devolved into pastrami with the right spices. Pile it high and grill it between two pieces of rye bread along with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut and the next thing you know you might be looking at a Reuben sandwich. Of course this wouldn’t be served in a Kosher deli due to the sacrilege of meat and dairy …..a marriage impermissible around orthodoxy; yet another reason why I have strayed far from the flock.    

Can anything more be said about brisket? I’m sure there can but I’m too hungry to go on. Pass the mustard or horse radish if you prefer.


  1. I have also eaten brisket in Pho ... Vietnamese noodle soup ... it gets around.

  2. I'm glad you're keeping abreast of the times!