Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recipe: Brisket Tacos

The first time I had a Brisket Taco was in Dallas on the recommendation of our friends (I think it was this place).  Handsome and I had never even heard of such a thing (and we consider ourselves pretty well-versed on Mexican/Tex-Mex/Kans-Mex food, since we live in the same town as so many REAL Mexicans).  They.  Were.  Amazing.  It's like all of the things I love about brisket and about Mexican food rolled into one, juicy taco!

We go classic when we eat these at home.  Warm tortillas slathered with sour cream, pile the meat high, scatter chopped cilantro, some salsa or purple onion, squeeze a lime on top and it's go-time.  Honestly, though, this meat's pretty great in a regular sort of taco, too.  It reminds me a lot of Chipotle's Barbacoa, but a little less spicy.  However you decide to eat it, just get-going and make it, because it's tasty!

Brisket Tacos
by The Spares

3-4 lb. Brisket*
6 Chipotle Peppers (from canned Chipotles in Adobo sauce)
1-3 T. Adobo Sauce (from can)
4 c. Beef Broth
6 cloves Garlic, peeled
2 T. Cumin
2 t. Oregano
Salt & Pepper

Optional:  Heat smoker to 250 degrees F with your favorite wood--my husband likes to use Walnut.  Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the brisket and smoke for 2 hours (we're not trying to cook it here, just get some smoke flavor).

Combine peppers, Adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano and 3 T. broth in a food processor.  Process until smooth and set aside.

At this point you can use a slow cooker or your oven.  If using your oven, preheat to 300 degrees F.

Place (smoked) brisket in a slow cooker insert or roasting pan.  Spread Chipotle sauce on top of brisket and pour broth around the sides.  If using oven, cover roasting pan tightly with foil.  For both oven and slow cooker, cook on low for 8-10 hours, until brisket shreds easily with a fork.

Remove brisket from pan onto a large platter or cutting board.  Shred with two forks (be careful, it's hot!).  Moisten the shredded meat with some of the sauce.  You probably need to use at least half of the juices.  For a spicier taco, reduce pan juices by boiling them in a pot on the stove for 10-20 minutes, and use all of the juices to moisten the meat.

Serve on warm tortillas with sour cream, cilantro, diced purple onion, homemade salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice!

*I can usually buy a half brisket (8-12 lb) at the local packing plant and save half for later.  This freezes very well, so don't worry if you can only find a large piece of brisket.