The traditional Jewish cuisine that warms your soul and fuels your holidays gets a makeover in The Gefilte Manifesto, a collection of recipes by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz. As owners of artisanal fish loaf haven Gefilteria, their spin on Ashkenazi Jewish food is as appetizing as it is contemporary, spruced up for the next generation of home cooks. Wine-braised brisket is a staple on holiday tables around the world — try your hand at this version, and don’t forget the butternut squash.

Liz: Brisket really gets Jews talking. The mere mention of the word brings up stories of holidays past, aunts who can’t cook, aunts who can cook, grandmas force-feeding grandkids, etc. While beef was often very expensive in the old country, brisket became a symbol of plenty in North America, where it was more affordable but no less special. This brisket is braised for hours, just as many Jewish briskets are, but we incorporate white wine instead of the more typical red, and butternut squash instead of potatoes. This makes for a lighter, brighter brisket, if such a thing exists, so it’s a better fit for holiday meals served during the warmer months.

Note that the second cut brisket we recommend for this recipe will not slice as thinly as the first cut. It’s softer and fattier. This doesn’t bother us. The meat will be so tender you could cut it with a spoon — who needs a thin slice? Also note that if you’d like to make this a more wintry brisket, you can swap the squash for potatoes and/or turnips and put the veggies in an hour earlier than the recipe calls for. Jeffrey prefers it that way, and once again, we agree to disagree.

Reprinted with permission from The Gefilte Manifesto