Lola Cooks: Slow Roast Brisket Tacos

This week is that glorious time between Christmas and New Year’s.  Everyone is still basking in the newness of their gifts, excited about bargains at the mall, and generally joyous.  Winter chill drives us inside and we huddle around the fire to keep warm as a family (it helps that the new video gaming system is in the same spot).

The winter months are perfect cause for slow cooked meals.  Delicious and familiar fragrances fill your home and add to the reasons for staying indoors.  Fortunately, there are at least as many slow cooked meals as there are winter days to enjoy them.  Today we are offering up one of our favorites.

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Brisket loves slow roasting.  It is certainly not the tenderest cut, but when cooked over moderately low heat for several hours, it becomes fork tender and very flavorful.  As a bonus, it is also typically priced well below other cuts.

We have flavored ours with some standard Tex-Mex flavor and included a little ground Ancho.  You may have some left over from the Mexican Hot Cocoa we made a couple of weeks ago.  The result is a meat filling that is smoky, a little spicy, and very tender.  Enjoy this with warmed tortillas and a little cilantro and lime.  

savour… fireside chats

Get the rest after the jump…

Slow Roast Brisket Tacos

Before you start:

We bought the ancho chilis whole and ground them up with a mortar and pestle.

These would be good served on soft corn tortillas, also, but you may want to double them up as this filling is a bit wet and may cause just one to split in half.

A watched brisket never shreds... or something like that.  Don't be alarmed if you aren't getting anywhere for the first 3 or 4 hours.  Just check it every hour or so in the beginning, swirl it around a bit and replace the lid.  At some point toward the end your brisket will go from unshreddable to shreddable like magic.

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The ingredients:

  •  2-3 lbs. of brisket
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon ground ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 12 warm tortillas
  • Cilantro, lime wedges, and chopped onion for garnish

The method:

  1. Trim off any large sections of fat.  Season the meat with salt and pepper all over.
  2. Make several small slits in the fat side of the meat and insert garlic slivers.
  3. In a large heavy pot, heat oil over high heat.  Brown meat for about 2 minutes on each side. 
  4. Add everything except the tortillas and garnish.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered until it can be shredded with a fork (about 6 hours).
  6. Check occasionally and remove lid for last 30 min to an hour to thicken up gravy.
  7. Serve on warmed tortillas with lime, cilantro, and onion.