Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brisket Tacos

It is definitely still winter. I haven't seen the sun since Saturday and the lack of sun combined with the cold has been making me unbelievably tired. What better way to combat fatigue though than with a recipe that can be made in the slow cooker? (Note if you don't have a slow cooker, the original uses the oven, so click the link below.) I knew as soon as I saw this recipe posted that I needed to make it ... and what better excuse than brisket tacos than to celebrate Arlington hosting the Superbowl? It's not easy to obtain brisket here (or outside of Texas in general according to the internet), so I cheated and used a side cut of beef ribs (mostly meat, just a little bit of bone, and a small layer of protective fat). If you use the same cut of meat, do not make the same mistake I did ... save all of the leftover liquid! I only saved about a cup to keep the meat moist when I reheated later. When I removed the liquid from the fridge, I discovered it had become the most beautiful gelatinous stock and silly me I only saved a little! Next time ...

Brisket Tacos (from Homesick Texan)

For the brisket:
3 pounds brisket, from the flat cut (see notes above)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
1 large yellow onion, cut into quarters
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (the cheaper stuff is just fine)
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 jalapeƱos, seeds and stems removed, cut in half, lengthwise
2 leafy stems cilantro (I skipped on this because I was serving some cilantro averse friends)
1 bay leaf
For the tacos:
2 poblano chiles (I used bell peppers because I didn't want to go on an ingredient hunt)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into slivers
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Corn or flour tortillas
Salsa (Ninfa's red sauce was great)

1. Sprinkle the brisket with salt and black pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat up the oil on medium-low, and brown the brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
3. Remove the brisket from the skillet and place in the slow cooker.
4. Add the onions to the skillet. While occasionally stirring, cook until they begin to brown.
5. Add the garlic cloves and cook for another 2 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and pour into the pot the red wine vinegar, scraping along the bottom to loosen all of the pan drippings. Pour into slow cooker.
7. Pour in the beef broth and add the cumin, jalapeƱos, cilantro and bay leaf to the slow cooker.
8. Cover the pot and cook on low for up to 8 hours or until it’s fork tender.
9. When you turn off the heat, let it rest in the pot uncovered for 30 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, to make the taco toppings, roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chile steam for 20 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove stem and seeds and cut the chiles into strips. (Or just stir-fry the bell peppers.) Heat up the vegetable oil in a skillet on medium low, and add the onion slivers. While occasionally stirring, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cut poblano strips and cook for 1 more minute.
11. After the brisket has rested, remove it from the pot, cut off the fat cap and shred the meat with two forks until it’s in long strands.
12. To make the gravy, strain the cooled broth, throwing out the vegetables. Remove the fat from the broth with a gravy separator. Or alternatively, you can take a quart-sized plastic storage bag and pour some broth into it. Snip a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the fat layer that is on top. Add 2 tablespoons of the gravy to the shredded brisket, reserving the rest for serving. Taste the brisket and adjust seasonings. (You can skip the straining and just store all of it and the fridge and skim the top after it's cooled.)
13. To make the tacos, place on one side of each tortilla some Monterey Jack and slide the tortillas under the broiler for 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Fill the tortillas with shredded brisket and top with some of the onions and poblano strips. Serve with the pot juices and salsa.

No comments:

Post a Comment