Andalusian Shredded Roasted Beef with Matzo and Fig Jam

adapted from a recipe by Michel Thouati.

2 ½ pounds beef brisket, chuck roast, or beef cheeks -original meat, cut in 3-4″ strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground green or white peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped into ½” dice

  1. Preheat the oven to 250F.
  2. Place the beef slices in one layer into a 4 quart dutch oven. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on both sides of the meat.
  3. Combine all of the spices in a small dish and then rub mixture over all surfaces of the meat.
  4. Sprinkle the diced onions around the meat in the pot. Cover and bake in the oven for 4 ½ – 5 ½ hours, until the meat is cooked through, tender and easily sliced or shredded.
  5. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and either slice the meat on a diagonal against the grain or shred the beef into medium sized pieces with a fork and place the shreds into a mixing bowl.
  6. If slicing the meat, place slices into a 2 quart glass casserole and pour the gravy and onions over the slices. If shredding the meat, place the meat and the gravy and onions into a microwaveable serving bowl.
  7. When ready to serve, reheat in a microwave oven and serve.

Note : the author’s family serves the shredded meat on pieces of matzo topped with some fig jam.

Tina’s Tidbits:

  • Either way you prepare it, this dish may be frozen but I recommend freezing the meat separate from the gravy so that the water crystals in the frozen gravy don’t pierce the meat and render it mushy.
  • Any leftover brisket from another recipe can be shredded and served over matzo with jam as an appetizer during the week of Passover.
  • I always re-heat my meat or poultry dishes in the microwave, especially if they are surrounded by gravy. The water molecules are agitated in the microwave to heat the ingredients in the dish and the food doesn’t get dried out.
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