Passover Seder

Four days and counting! Not a lot of time left, and a ton of things to do. I think we are probably either on schedule or just behind to get everything done. Of course that means more late nights coming up, but we will finish it all. Tuesday night we made the first pot of soup. By pot, of course, I really mean vat, because I think the pot we use is an 18 quart pot, but it could be bigger. Carla is going to make the Matza Balls which is good because we always seem to forget to make them until the last minute. Last night we made a 2nd vat of soup and I mixed up the Gefilte Fish. I shaped the fish into logs, wrapped them in wax paper and froze them. On Sunday I will make the broth and cook the fish.

We have a couple of big things left and some smaller ones. We make two turkeys, and Carla is making one and we are making the other. Ours will happen on Sunday. Tonight we are making the pot roast. After that, it is basically side dishes left. Here is our full menu, and then I will talk about the roast.

Gefilte Fish
Chicken Soup with Matza Balls
(we serve these before the Seder actually starts so we can start with Kiddush after nightfall)
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Turkey with Stuffing
Pot Roast with Orange and Dates
Herbed Quinoa with Vegetables
Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows (first Seder – we cannot get away without making this!)
Traditional sweet Tzimmis (Second Seder)
Cranberry Sauce (from Suzie Fishbein’s Kosher By Design Entertains)
Apple Slaw (my mother-in-law does this and it is amazing. I need to find out where she got the recipe!)
Green Beans Almandine
Cauliflower Popcorn (from one of the Suzie Fishbein cookbooks)
Strawberry ice
Matza Toffee

As I said, tonight we will make the Pot Roast and maybe the Quinoa also. The roast came from Bon Appetit from April 2007. I used to have a subscription to Bon Appetit and I still have quite a few of the magazines in the house. Every year they have what I call the Passover issue (they might refer to it as the Easter issue, but who cares!). They at least have one article about the Seder with a bunch of recipes. Sometimes they even have more than that. In 2007 we saw this recipe and have been making it ever since. One note about roast at the Seder. It has become traditional in Ashkenazi homes not to roast meat for the Seder. This is because roasted lamb was the major part of the Seder in antiquity, and since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem we can no longer bring the sacrifice, so we refrain from roasting meat. In the Sephardic world customs differ (there are some communities who will specifically eat roasted lamb, and others that do like the Ashkenazim). Some people have taken it as far as to not have meat at all at the Seder, but I disagree with that for sure. I do not see any major problems with roasting meat for the Seder. Since we are so far removed from the sacrificial system (and I do not believe that it will ever be reinstated), it is ok to eat roasted meat at the Seder. Of course, a pot roast is not really roasted but braised, so there is no problem anyway.

In the menu above there is a link to the Recipe, but I will put it here as well. We are doubling this recipe.

Pot Roast with Orange and Dates
Bon Appétit, April 2007
by Evan Kleinman

Yield: Makes 8 servings

This recipe calls for two small roasts instead of one big one. They are easier to cook, and make for prettier slices.


2 (2 ½ pound) boneless beef chuck roasts, each about 7x4x2 inches

4 t sugar

3 T olive old, divided

1 lb onions, thinly sliced

6 T red wine vinegar

½ t ground allspice

2 C low-salt chicken broth

1 C orange juice

½ C tomato sauce

2 C pitted dates

½ C chopped fresh Italian parsley


Preheat oven to 350°


1. Sprinkle roasts on each side with salt, pepper and 1 t of sugar.

2. Heat 2 T oil in a heavy wide ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.

3. Add roasts and cook until brown, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

4. Add 1 T oil and onions to the pot and sauté until dark brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

5. Mix in vinegar and allspice; boil until reduced to glaze, scraping up brown bits.

6. Add broth, orange juice and tomato sauce; bring to boil.

7. Return roasts and accumulated juices to pot. Scatter dates around roast; sprinkle with parsley.

8. Cover pot; place in oven. Braise roasts for 1 hour, turn roasts over, cover and braise until tender about 1 more hour.

9. Skim fat from top of liquid and let cool uncovered for 1 hour.

10. Transfer roasts to board, scraping sauce into pot. Cut crosswise into ½ inch thick slices; overlap slices in a baking dish.

11. Spoon Sauce over, cover; re-warm about 25 minutes.


The recipe suggests that you can make this up to 2 days in advance and keep in the refrigerator. Since we are doing it 4 days early, we will freeze it and take it out of the freezer Sunday night. If you are going to freeze, I suggest freezing the meat and the sauce separate, and combining when heating.



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One Response to Passover Seder

  1. Hello,
    Your menu looks fabulous and I was planning to do some similar side dishes. The sweet potato, string bean and cranberry sauce recipes interested me the most….wish to share where to find them?

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