Bobby Flay: They call it the Festival of Lights and most people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting lots of candles. For others, they like to light up the grill.
Every December, Jews around the world light candles on a Menorah to mark the time 2000 years ago when a single pitcher of oil burned for their ancestors.
Jeffrey Rohatiner: Because that miracle happened in coincidence with the attaining of their freedom, that’s why we light the Menorah on Hanukkah for the entire eight days to represent the oil lasted the eight days.
In our family, we have to light the barbecue for eight days.
Bobby Flay: It’s a tradition to mark Hanukkah with lights, gifts, games, and delicious fried foods. But for this Los Angeles family, that’s not all.
Male: This is an old family tradition that we look forward to every year. Having gifts, special barbecue this good.
Bobby Flay: Here it all about sharing an amazing holiday feast prepared according to their beliefs and infused with the flavor of Mesquite smoke and the sweet tang of barbecue sauce.
Jeffrey Rohatiner: Hanukkah is about spreading the light to the world and the light of the candles of Hanukkah, the light of the barbecue. Hopefully it’ll spread the light and the flavor to the rest of the world.
By making briskets at Hanukkah and barbecuing, that led to actually me opening my business, my sausage factory in smoke house.
Hey Rebecca, your brisket sandwich is ready.
Bobby Flay Here at Jeff’s Gourmet sausage factory, it can get crazy this time of the year.
It’s the only place in the West Coast where they make their own kosher sausages. But today, it’s all about brisket and here it has to be kosher.
Jeff’s smoke can handle volume but when it comes to celebrating Hanukkah at home, he likes to bring it down to a smaller scale. Smoking his Hanukkah brisket sandwich style in a backyard oil can peg.
It all gets going eight hours earlier when Jeff adds mesquite charcoal and a pan of boiling water.
Jeffrey Rohatiner: The water pan has the brisket cooks. It makes moisture to the cooking environment and keeps the brisket moist.
Bobby Flay: Then Jeff puts his own rub together and into the smoker for an eight hour heat ride.
Jeffrey Rohatiner: Most of this community actually is used to the more traditional kind of brisket coming out of the oven and once they taste this brisket they say that it’s different, that’s tasty and they like the change.
Bobby Flay: The last step of the brisket is mopping up some of Jeff’s secret homemade barbecue sauce.
Jeffrey Rohatiner: It’s not reigniting where I’m authority. You got to give up the secret of your barbecue sauce.
Bobby Flay: The table is set and the family is gathered. It’s time for the brisket to come off. It’s just after sundown and the Rohatiner family lights the Menorah.
Jeff’s wife Linda makes the last minute Latkes or potato pancakes while the kids play the ancient game of dreidel. Dinner is served buffet style then everyone has a seat. The holiday, celebrating an everlasting flame sends it around a main dish cooked over an outdoor fire. That’s Hanukkah, barbecue style.