Have you heard of jackfruit yet? If it hasn’t come across your Facebook feed or email inbox yet, keep your eyes open because it is the newest trend in vegetarian meat replacements.
Jackfruit was originally cultivated in India, but is grown throughout tropical regions including Southeast Asia, South America, Australia and the Caribbean. But you don’t have to travel to the tropics to find it — you can buy it canned at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. You can even find it fresh at many specialty fruit shops.
When jackfruit is cooked, it has an incredibly meaty, hearty taste and texture. It’s also low in calories, high in fiber and is considered an environmentally friendly food, since it is drought resistant.
After reading and researching about this wonder fruit, I thought jackfruit would make a great vegetarian brisket option. You can serve this entree for summer picnics and barbecues alongside buns and coleslaw, or save it for Shabbat dinners and holidays. It’s easy, satisfying meat-free deliciousness.
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey (can also use maple syrup or agave if making dish vegan)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine (can also use grape juice or sweet kosher wine like Manischewitz)
1 chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced, grated or pressed
2 20-ounce cans jackfruit, drained
Combine crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar, water, wine, onion and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then add jackfruit.
Reduce heat to low-medium and cover pot.
Cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat.
Remove cover and test whether you can break up the jackfruit using the back of a wooden spoon. If the jackfruit isn’t tender enough to pull yet, cook it for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
Note: This can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time and heated through when ready to serve.
Shannon Sarna is editor of The Nosher.