Passover Recipes From A Denver Chef

March 13, 2013 6:00 AM

(credit: Shalom Cares)

This year, Passover begins at sundown March 25 and lasts through April 2. The holiday commemorates the Jewish exodus from Egypt following many years of slavery. It is often called the holiday of freedom and is regarded as the birth of the Jewish nation. On the night before Passover, families conduct a candlelight search for all foods with leavened grains, which are forbidden during the holiday. The leavened foods are burned the next morning in a ceremony called Sray’fat Chametz.

The following recipes are courtesy of culinary chef Matt Mitzel, director of dining services for Shalom Cares, a Denver senior community. The Shalom Cares campus includes the Shalom Park nursing home and independent-living patio homes and apartments.

Cheff Matt Mitzel (credit: Shalom Cares)

Cheff Matt Mitzel (credit: Shalom Cares)

Chef Matt Mitzel

Shalom Cares
14800 E. Belleview Drive
Aurora, CO 80015
(303) 680-5000

Chef Matt Mitzel oversees the largest kosher kitchen in the West – serving nearly 900 meals daily. These are two recipes that will be served to the thousands of residents and guests of the Shalom Cares community on Passover.

Shalom Park Beef Brisket
Serves 8


  • 4 lbs beef brisket
  • 1/4 lb peeled garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 qts beef stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb sliced yellow onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut 1/2-inch slits about one inch deep on top of the brisket, just enough to fit each garlic clove.
  3. Season the brisket with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix together beef stock, onion powder, garlic powder, ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire in a stock pot.
  5. Heat mixture to a boil, add liquid to brisket pan. (Liquid should be right under the top of the brisket.)
  6. Spread onion slices across the surface of the roast. Seal the pan with plastic wrap and foil (make sure foil completely covers plastic wrap).
  7. Cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn oven to 275 degrees and cook for another 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
  8. This should be very tender, but still hold its shape.

Related: Top Holiday Drink Ideas from Denver Mixologists

(credit: Shalom Cares)

(credit: Shalom Cares)

Shalom Park Potato Kugel
Serves 8-10


  • 5 lbs potatoes (6-8 large russets)
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed matzo
  • 1/2 cup rendered chicken fat
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher baking powder
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chicken consommé mix


  1. Grate peeled potatoes, onion and garlic together in a food processor and set aside.
  2. Mix eggs, baking powder, paprika, black pepper, salt and consommé powder and whip until frothy.
  3. Add grated mixture to egg mixture and coat evenly.
  4. Heat up a baking pan with chicken fat at 400 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the potato mixture to the hot pan.
  6. Take the rest of the chicken fat and drizzle it on top.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour approximately.
  8. It should be browned and slightly crisp on top.

Related: 2012 Tasted Good: The Top New Restaurants That Opened In Denver

Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at

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