Abigail Kirsch’s Holiday Tzimmes


This recipe accompanies a story on local chefs’ favorite Rosh Hashana recipes: The Best Thing They Ever Ate (for Rosh Hashana).

Abigail Kirsch’s Holiday Tsimmes

Abigail Kirsch’s Holiday Tsimmes

“The heady richness of the stew, the combination of flavors and the addition of meat combined with the dried fruits, fresh carrots and honey makes this traditional holiday dish unforgettable,” says Kirsch, who grew up in Brooklyn and New Rochelle and now lives in Pound Ridge.


  • Abigail Kirsch’s Holiday Tzimmes
  • Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds brisket, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 4 large apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 cups dried pitted prunes, halved
  • 3/4 cups dried apricots, halved
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a 13-inch by 9-inch by 2 1/2-inch deep oven-to-table casserole.
  2. Heat casserole over medium heat over one or two burners and add the olive oil. Add garlic and shallots, sauté for 3 minutes until golden.
  3. Add beef, stirring often, until beef is medium browned on all sidesPlace carrots, squash, apples, honey, cinnamon, chicken broth and orange juice in a large bowl. Mix well. Add salt to taste. Layer mixture over beef, cover, and bake for one hour covered.
  4. Remove cover, add prunes, apricots, and lemon juice, stir well. Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more.
  5. Carefully drain excess liquid from the casserole by pouring it into the sink, and using a ladle or the top of the casserole to hold back the ingredients. Allow 1/2 cup of liquid to remain on the bottom. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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