The First day of Christmas (and the New Year)

On the First day of Christmas, Fork and the Cork gave to me: One fantastic recipe.

Ok so it's like the 358th day of Christmas now, but it is the first day of the new year!

Being New Years Day, you probably are working on your resolutions. Or maybe you are busy celebrating National Hangover day in bed at the moment. Either way, you have, we have, all indulged in some holiday cheer in the way of fantastic food, drinks, and good times.

For the aspiring home chef, the holidays are a lot like the NFL playoffs. All year you practice (test recipes), you have exhibition games (trying said recipes out on your immediate family), you have games that count (boss is coming for dinner), you have games that don't really matter (cousin Eddie and family = meatloaf), all in preparation for the Superbowl, the holidays.

Of course, you are never as prepared as planned, but that's all part of the fun. Then football season ends.

Now that it's all over, I'm perusing my latest cooking magazine arrivals, and I'm a bit sad. Instead of cookies, turkeys, and cocktails, I'm looking at kale, beet chips (what?), and minted pea mash.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for healthy eating, a balanced diet, and making even the most bitter of vegetables palitable, but I'm feeling the Christmas void. I think we should be eased back into everyday life. Instead, it's so abrupt: back to work, back to the same old weeknight recipes, but with even less cheese, less butter, and less meat, because of that silly little resolution you just made.

I saved the first day of Christmas recipe for this occasion. Who says you can't carry the holidays over into the new year? I made this recipe on Christmas Eve, but you can make it
any time of year to get that home cooked holiday feeling:


  • 9 lbs flat-cut beef brisket, in two pieces, most fat removed
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 3 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large bay leaves, crumbled
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle beer
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Trim brisket and rub all over with the garlic. Combine celery seeds, pepper, ginger and bay leaves, then rub into all sides of the brisket. Mix the tomato paste, beer, soy, Worcestershire and sugar, and coat the meat. Score the fat side of the brisket and place the onions on top, and place the meat in a heavy, high-sided roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. (I marinated the meat overnight). Cook for 4 hours.

Open the foil to expose the onion-covered top, and cook for another hour. Remove meat to a heated plate and keep warm. You can even cook this a day in advance, and reheat in the oven before serving. Serves 12 in theory, but it's so delicious it's really 8-10.

 Happy New Year! Here are some resolution ideas you can definitely keep this year:

  • Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
  • Stop exercising. Waste of time.
  • Read less. Makes you think.
  • Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
  • Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
  • Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
  • Don't have eight children at once.
  • Get in a whole NEW rut!
  • Start being superstitious.
  • Personal goal: bring back disco.


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