Casa M Brisket Tacos
Brisket tacos are a very Dallas thing. I honestly don't know if I've ever even seen them on a menu outside the DFW metroplex. Now, I know you die-hard brisket fans are thinking this is an alternate use to your smoked brisket, or better yet, wondering who has leftover brisket to turn into tacos, but this is a slightly different approach to brisket cooking (though smoking the brisket would be prefectly fine for this too, it would just have a different overall flavor profile). Before you declare this a complete sacrelige, hear me out. This yields tacos that will make your mouth water for years to come just thinking about them and are so addictive you'll crave them constantly. What's even better is that the preparation is amazingly simple and straightforward. Even factoring in cooking the brisket since after you brown it, it cooks in the oven and is completely hands off for the whole time until you "pull" it just before making the tacos.
Brisket is called for, obviously, but if you can't get your hands on a small brisket, any good quality pot roast that is best cooked low and slow works here, so think chuck roasts, round roasts, cross-rib roasts, etc. To be honest, I don't know how many restaurants around the DFW area actually use the brisket cut for this dish. Roasted poblano chiles are critical to the flavor-mix and one of only two official "toppings" for these tacos. If you can't get your hands on these, Anaheim chiles work in a pinch. Green bell peppers do not, but are better than nothing. Sautée the onions in butter not oil. Flour tortillas only. This is not an either/or recipe for the tortillas. Monterey Jack cheese melts so well, it's by far the winner for cheese on the tortilla. You'll see in the photos that our cheese has some Colby mixed in. It's a 3-pepper Cojack from Boar's Head. It's quite good if you can find it, if not, regular Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack works just fine. Finally, yes, it's critical to toast/roast the tortilla. Don't skip it.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Brisket:
- 3 pounds brisket, flat muscle not point muscle
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Cattle Drive®
- 3 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction®
- 1 large onion, skinned, cut into quarters, layers separated
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, halved
- 4 sprigs cilantro
- 2 bay leaves
Pulling It All Together:
- 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, cut into thin strips
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled, quartered, cut into strips
- 1 slice Monterey Jack cheese per taco
- 1 flour tortilla per taco
- 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- salsa (optional)
Roasted poblano chiles are critical to the flavor-mix and one of only two official "toppings" for these tacos. If you can't get your hands on these, Anaheim chiles work in a pinch.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Start early. The brisket cooks for about 6 hours once it goes into the oven! That said, preheat the oven to 250°F
In a large dutch oven heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot reduce the heat to medium-high and put the brisket in. Brown both sides well. About 5-7 minutes per side in our pot, but you're looking for the brisket to "stick" to the bottom of the pan before flipping it and visible browning once you flip it.
When both sides of the brisket are browned, remove it to a platter, salt with 1/4 teaspoon per pound of brisket and let it rest while you prepare the onions and seasonings.
Add all the quartered layers of the onion and let them start to brown before adding the garlic cloves. Once these start to brown, turn off the heat. Add the red wine vinegar using it to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the Casa M Spice Co® seasonings, cumin, and beef broth and mix well.
Put the brisket back into the pot. Add the jalapeños, cilantro, and bay leaves and nestle them down on the sides of the brisket into the liquid. Cover the pot and put it into the oven. Cook the brisket covered for 5 hours. Check for ease of "pulling" the brisket. If it's fork tender and easy to "pull", remove it, if not, let it cook for another hour. Let the brisket sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes after removing from the oven.
Roast the poblano chiles. For those with gas stove tops, you can roast them on the open flame there. You want charring evenly over the poblano, so use tongs and turn them regularly. You're trying to char the skin, not cook the chile, so high heat is critical. If you don't have gas, you can use the broiler of your oven (top rack on high broil for about 5 minutes per side) or you can even use a crème brûlée torch. When there is uniform charring on all surfaces of the chile, put it into a sealed container and let it sweat for 15-20 minutes. If you've done it right, the outer skin of the chile should slip right off easily. Seed the chiles, then cut them into thin strips.
While the chiles are sweating, sautée your onion slivers in 1 Tablespoon of butter. You want to start hot, get good browning, then turn the heat down to low or simmer. Once you've finished your chiles add those little strips in with the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the heat and set aside for toppings.
Once the brisket has rested for 30 minutes, remove the meat (save the liquid), get rid of any chunks of fat, place the meat into a mixing bowl, and shred it with a fork into long strands. To make the gravy, strain out the solids and throw them away, then skim any fat off the top of the liquid (you can use a plastic bag for this adding the cooled liquid to the bag, then cutting a small hole in one of the bottom corners and draining until you reach the fat layer) and the remaining juice is the gravy. Add 1/3 of a cup of the gravy to the meat and mix it in. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The remaining gravy is used at the table as a condiment.
For those with gas stove tops, turn the flame on medium and put one flour tortilla directly on the burner grate. Flip it often looking for charring. You want to see even browning and have the tortilla warmed through with just a little texture to the tortilla. It should still be able to bend into a taco, but have little patches of crispy edges and be hot to touch. While still hot, put your cheese on the tortilla to let it melt. If you don't have a gas stove top, again, use your broiler to roast the tortillas lightly. Flip them often just like on the gas burner. Don't let them get over toasted.
Assemble the tacos by adding brisket to the roasted tortilla that has cheese melted onto it then adding the poblano strips and onion slivers. Fold it over and add a wedge of avocado and/or some salsa as desired.