Hanukkah is known for menorahs, gifts, dreidels and latkes, but what else should one eat when sitting down to celebrate the Jewish holiday with friends and family? Try these recipes to make this year's Hanukkah dinners delicious and memorable.
Beef brisket is a staple of Jewish holiday meals, and there's nothing like the smell of a brisket cooking to let you know that it's time to celebrate. This dish is also great to make early and reheat in the oven. In fact, many people prefer when it's been reheated.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 pounds beef brisket
- 3 yellow onions, thickly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Season the brisket with salt and pepper while you heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Place brisket in the skillet and cook until the meat is a rich brown on the bottom.
- Flip the meat over and cook on other side until the meat is browned all over.
- Once browned, put brisket fat side up in a roasting pan and fill with enough beef broth to almost cover the roast.
- Add garlic and onions to pan.
- Cover and bake for about 3 hours.
- Add carrots, replace the cover, and bake for 30 more minutes.
- Serves about 10.
Apricot Roasted Chicken
Roasted chicken appears at many holiday meals, but this recipe adds a sweet twist with apricots and cherries. The onions help keep the dish savory, and this recipe pairs perfectly with latkes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 8 chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- Sea salt, to taste
- Dash of seasoned salt
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the stove on high and sauté the onions lightly.
- Once onions are done, lay them across the bottom of a roasting pan, fully covering the bottom.
- Brush chicken with remainder of olive oil, and season with sea salt and a dash of seasoned salt. Then put chicken in roasting pan on top of onions.
- Roast chicken in oven for 20 minutes, then sprinkle apricots and cherries on top of chicken. Cover pan and put back in the oven for about 20-30 more minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Serves 8.
Braised Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks are often found on the table at Passover dinners, but there's no reason not to serve them during Hanukkah. They're a great, hearty entree to warm you up on a winter night.
- 6 lamb shanks
- Olive oil
- Kosher (coarse grained) salt
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 bottle robust red wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 4 cups water or beef broth
- 4 bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Coat a large cast iron pot with olive oil, place on a burner at medium, and heat on stove until hot. Season lamb shanks with salt and then put them in the pot and brown them on all sides.
- Purée onions, carrots, celery, and garlic into a paste.
- Remove lamb shanks and discard fat from the bottom of the cast iron pot.
- Add more olive oil and the puréed vegetables. Season with salt to taste and sauté until they are brown and crust the bottom of the pot, but don't let them burn.
- Add the can of tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the wine, rosemary, and thyme. Cook until the wine has reduced to half, stirring frequently.
- Put the shanks in the pot and add in the water so that the shanks are submerged. Add the bay leaves, cover, and put the pot in the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours. Turn the shanks over halfway through, and check on them from time to time. If the water level lessens significantly, you may want to add more.
- Take off the lid and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
- Serves 6.
Hanukkah Side Dishes
Of course, you can't just have an entree. You need one or two side dishes to complete your meal. Try the recipes below to impress your guests.
- Latkes - No Hanukkah meal is complete without these potato pancakes.
- Kugel - This classic egg noodle casserole is a staple of Jewish holiday meals. With sugar and cottage cheese, it's both sweet and satisfying.
- Couscous Pilaf - The perfect starch to balance any protein, couscous is a well-known dish in Middle Eastern countries that can be flavored with a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices.
- Kasha and Bowties - Kasha, a buckwheat grain, adds texture to buttery bowtie noodles in this Jewish side dish.
- Carrot Tzimmes - Tangy orange and ginger flavor the carrots and parsnips in this delectable side.
Some Jews keep kosher, or in other words, they follow religious dietary restrictions such as not eating pork or shellfish and not mixing dairy with meat during the same meal. Some Jews also only eat meat that is certified kosher to ensure that it was slaughtered according to Jewish custom.
It's important to keep in mind that there are different levels of kashrut, or keeping kosher, and so which rules one follows can vary from person to person. If you are making Hanukkah dinner for someone, or making a dish to bring to their dinner, it is wise to ask ahead of time if there are any restrictions you will need to follow.
Eight Holiday Dinners
Meals are an integral part of any Jewish holiday celebration, and while there aren't many Hanukkah-specific foods besides latkes, there are still plenty of traditional holiday recipes to pick from. With eight nights of Hanukkah and all of these great recipes to try, you can have a different and delicious holiday dinner each night.