Today Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show and I chatted about Passover and its beautiful and significant meaning. And I shared yummy, yummy brisket recipes, along with one for unleavened bread and Charoset.
John 13: 1-17 Talks about how the last supper was carried out with Jesus and his disciples, how he started by washing their feet. The Eucharist was born at this time. We all know the phrases when Jesus told the disciples to drink the wine and eat the bread: “This is my blood which will be given up for you and this is my body which will be sacrificed for you”.
Exodus 12:20 When the Passover Ritual is prescribed to Moses and Aaron by the Lord. “ Nothing leavened may you eat; wherever you dwell you may eat only unleavened bread.”
What is Passover?
Passover is a freedom festival. It lasts 8 days and starts with the 2 nights of the Seder or Passover supper. This year it starts on April 8 and ends on April 16. Easter falls within those dates, on April 12.
It commemorates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and their departure from slavery to freedom. The word Passover symbolizes the lamb’s blood that was used to make a mark on the door of each Jewish family to ensure that the angel of death would not come and kill their first born son. This was a plague due to Pharoah’s refusal to free them and if your door was marked with blood, the angel “passed over”.
Passover’s main ritual is the Seder, which involves the re-enactment of the Exodus.
The food eaten during Passover is special. There are significant changes to the usual dietary cycle, including the absence of leavened foods and certain other foods.
Let’s talk the Passover plate and foods, starting with lamb.
The word passover applies to the paschal Lamb of sacrifice. A lamb bone is often put on the main Seder plate.
Matzoh is a kind of bread that when commercially made, comes from wheat that has been grown, harvested and processed according to Jewish law. It can be made also from barley, spelt, rye and oats..
Bitter herbs. The bitter greens signify the bitterness of the Israelites slavery in Egypt,
These are called maror. Some say the bitter greens/herbs eaten during Passover include horseradish and romaine, some say chicory, endive, escarole, dandelions and watercress. Christians believe they also signify the bitterness and anguish that Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsamane and during His crucifixion.
Parsley is eaten, as well.
Its dipped in salt water. Salt water represents tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord’s people.
Haroseth/Charoset represents the mortar used by Jews in building pyramids and palaces during their slavery in Egypt.
Made of chopped apples or other fruits, nuts, cinnamon and wine. You can make it chunky or like a paste, just like mortar. Or simply mix applesauce with raisins.
My former webmaster, John Wall, shared his recipe for Charoset a long time ago, and it’s still a favorite.
My webmaster, John, serves the Charoset and Marror on Matzoh. He calls the Charoset “Hillel sandwich”. John goes to taste on this dish and makes enough extra for his daughter, Alice’s lunch box for the week.
4 finely chopped Fuji apples (sometimes I use 1 or 2 Granny Smiths for tartness)
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 – 3/4 cup grape juice
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Mix all and let sit for several hours before serving.
Wine is dipped from a common bowl.
There are 4 cups of wine, one for thanksgiving, one for telling the story, one for blessing and one for righteousness.
What’s the significance of the boiled egg?
The egg is a symbol of mourning as well. Eggs were the first thing to be served to mourners after a funeral. Christians believe the egg symbolizes new life, just like the chick hatches out and starts new.
DELICIOUS PASSOVER BRISKET (ORA’S BRISKET)
Adapted from Zel Schulman’s book Let My People Eat! I love this brisket. I like to make mine in a crockpot. Some folks like to put this overnight in the refrigerator, then skim the fat off, slice the roast, and reheat.
3 pounds brisket, trimmed of most, but not all, of the fat
1 bottle, 12 oz., chili sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed or bit more to taste
1 can, 10 oz., beef broth
1 really large onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
Put everything in sprayed crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender.
Or bake covered, in preheated 325-degree oven for about 1 hour minutes per pound or until meltingly tender. Remove bay leaves.
Oh gosh, I can’t believe how good this is. The ingredients are common ones, the technique a bit different. Great for Passover or any time you want a hearty, really easy and tummy-filling entre. Now if all you find in the grocery are large cuts, just ask the butcher to cut one in half for you. Brisket takes to long, slow cooking times when cooked like this in the oven.
1 brisket, trimmed of most, but not all, fat – mine was 3#
1 bottle, 12 oz. chili sauce
1 pouch dry onion soup mix
1 can regular Coke, 12 oz.
Preheat oven to 350. Place brisket in pot which is ovenproof with a lid. Mix sauce, soup and coke together and pour this over brisket. Roast, covered, for 1 hour, then turn temperature down to 250 and roast, covered, for 4-5 hours. Four Hours gives you a very tender roast that can be sliced fairly easily. Five hours will give you a meltingly tender, fall apart roast.
You can skim the fat off the top and slice the meat and serve with the gravy right away or just put the whole thing in the frig after cooling to room temperature. You can leave it in the pan, too. The fat will congeal to the to and you can simply lift it off. Reheat roast and gravy, slice against the grain (that way it won’t be stringy) serve with the gravy and enjoy.
IMPORTANT TIP FROM RITA’S KITCHEN:
For a 5-8# roast, double the gravy ingredients.
EASY UNLEAVENED COMMUNION BREAD
You can also just buy refrigerated pie crust and follow baking directions. You can use that especially if you’re making this with the little ones. It’s all about the message, not necessarily the method.
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons ice cold milk or ice water
Preheat oven to 350-375. Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork till pieces are the size of small peas. Make a well in the center and add 5 tablespoons of milk. Blend with fork. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of milk as needed to make a smooth dough, being careful not to over mix. Form into a ball, BLESS THE DOUGH, and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Roll out as thin as you can, and cut into circles. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden and done.