This year the question “why is this night different than all other nights” will have a certain poignancy. A Passover seder is meant to be a joyful meal with extended family and friends, but many will observe the holiday in isolation instead. Some will seek digital connection, with laptops and phones on the table to bring everyone together. However you observe the holiday, we have what you need to make a memorable meal.
Each spring, Jewish families come together to tell a story of slavery and redemption, and to partake in a holiday that’s existed, relatively unchanged, for thousands of years.
Passover, which lasts a full week, is kicked off with twin ceremonial meals on the first two nights. The seder, as it is known in Hebrew, begins with four questions that the eldest son asks his father, and the hours of ritual and storytelling that follow are the answer.
There’s much to love about Pesach, as it is called in Hebrew: the beauty of the prayers and songs, the crazed fervor with which children scour the house looking for the afikomen (a piece of matzoh that is hidden, treasure-hunt style), the pillow you get to recline upon, as well as the four whole cups of wine one is commanded by the almighty to consume throughout the evening.
But the best part – at least for the food-obsessed, like us – is that the core of Passover is a huge meal, one of personal and religious significance. Every seder guest knows to expect the basics: fruity, nutty charoset, parsley, horseradish, a roasted lamb shank, and matzoh, the famous unleavened bread.
And of course, there is a full meal tucked into the hours of reading the haggadah, the order of service for a seder, which tells the story of the holiday. So what’s for dinner?
Braise a Brisket
Brisket is the traditional choice for a family meal and a good one for Passover. That’s because brisket is easy to braise and keep warm for serving – especially as a seder can go on for hours before the dinner course begins. The tradition is to stretch the telling of the Passover story long into the night, but with a brisket, there is no need to worry about drying out or overcooking the meat while that unfolds. Try our simple red-wine braised brisket recipe for a juicy center-of-the-plate offering.
Serve Spring Lamb
How can we forget the paschal lamb, the symbol of springtime, renewal and freedom? If you’re looking for a great main course for your seder, lamb is a perfect choice. Whether rubbed with olive oil and herbs and baked, slow-roasted or smoked, and whether you choose roasts, racks, or a whole leg seasoned with plenty of rosemary, the smell of lamb cooking in your kitchen is undoubtedly the smell of Passover. And, naturally, don’t forget your roasted shank; some lucky seder guest (or perhaps the cook?) might get some excellent marrow out of that lamb bone!
Roast a Chicken
Whether cooking for one or a crowd, a chicken in the oven evokes tradition, the safety of hearth and home and a meal that is deeply satisfying. At a small Passover dinner, a roasted chicken will be a perfect choice. There’s always matzoh ball soup to consider as well. Poach a chicken in the broth for outstanding soup – a classic at the Passover meal. Find the right chicken for your meal from our catalog of heritage-breed, Green Circle and organic birds – all from small farms with the strictest standards.
We wish all our friends who are celebrating a very Happy Passover – Chag Sameach!
Shop dartagnan.com for your Passover meal – we will deliver overnight to your doorstep.
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