Sunday, January 6, 2013

Corona Beer-Braised Brisket Tacos

Brisket tacos are hands down my favorite kind.

To me, they need nothing more than a slice of avocado and some caramelized onions to create perfection. Lettuce, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa - all things that complicate a brisket taco. Though I know some people love all the extras (I'm looking at you, husband).

In Texas, taco shops are pretty common. In addition to storefronts, there are also some amazing food trucks that serve up unique and tasty tacos. In North Carolina? Not as common, but can be found. It's just... different. But, I did find one spot that has a pretty darn good brisket taco and while they say it's a limited time item, I'm hoping it stays on the menu!

Brisket can be cooked several different ways but since it's winter, and we don't have a smoker anymore, the oven is the best route. This recipe is a total winner in my book. The beer injects it with a load of flavor and of course the onions soak up all the juices while they cook low and slow. Good brisket is never rushed, but always worth the wait.

{if you're a small family like us, this will create a boatload of meat so just freeze the rest in smaller portions!}

I apologize that the picture isn't the greatest; I was working with a double slammer of a dark wintery day + brisket, which never looks all that appealing in the best of light. Please don't let that deter you.

This is a make-the-night-before meals so plan ahead! Let it cook while you're watching TV one night and have it for dinner the next!

Corona Beer-Braised Brisket
Vegetable or olive oil
sea salt and pepper
2-3 pounds beef brisket
3 onions, sliced into half moons
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle of Corona beer
Corn or flour tortillas
Sour cream, avocado, pico de gallo, guacamole, etc (whatever your choice toppings are)

Position a rack in the lowest part of your oven and preheat to 300.

Heat some oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the brisket. When the oil is hot, brown the brisket on all sides. Once well browned, remove and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add onions and garlic to the pot, scraping the brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add more oil as needed. Cook a few minutes then add 3/4 of the bottle of beer. Scrape the bottom again and make sure nothing is left behind. Turn off the heat and put the meat back in the pot. The beer should be about 1/3 up the side of the brisket. If it's not, add more beer.

Tear off a piece of parchment paper and press it down into your pot, directly on the brisket. This will help keep the moisture down in the meat.

Cover your pot with a lid and put it in the oven. Wait 15 minutes and check to see if it's simmering.  If it's not, adjust the temp.

Cook for 2 to 2.5 hours, flipping the meat over occasionally. It's ready when it falls apart with a gentle push from your wooden spoon. Let it cool in the pot, with the lid on, for a couple of hours. Once cool, shred the meat, mix it back into the onion/juices, and put it all in the fridge.

To reheat, preheat oven to 350. Put the meat in a casserole dish with some of the juices, cover with foil, and warm for 30-45 minutes. Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.

Source: Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce

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