Tex-Mex Shredded Beef Brisket
Sometimes in Texas you just want barbecue. Unfortunately, it takes all day and a good smoker to make real Texas barbecue brisket. Not everyone has the equipment or the time. Here is a recipe for barbecue beef that will satisfy your craving with minimal effort. All you need is an ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. For all you purists out there, this is not intended to duplicate a real slow smoked Texas barbecue brisket. It's something a little different. The chipotle pepper adds a mild smoky flavor and a little heat. (Chipotles are smoked, dried jalapeno peppers. They are available in small cans marinated in adobo sauce.)
- Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Check the sauce for desired seasoning and adjust to your liking.
- If you like more heat, add more chipotle peppers. If you like more sourness, add more vinegar. This is an important step when cooking with recipes. Use them as guidelines and feel free to experiment a little. Keep in mind that the onion and mango will add a little sweetness to the finished product when they cook down.
- Set aside.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- In a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron) on medium-high heat, brown the beef on all sides in the olive oil. Do this in several batches being sure not to crowd the pan or you will never get the beef browned. You also want a "fond" to form on the bottom of the pan. This is all the browned bits and caramelized juices from the meat and it adds a significant amount of flavor.
- When all the meat is nicely browned, return the meat to the pan with the sauce. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the browned bits.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer on low heat. The easiest way to do this is to put the whole covered pot into a preheated 300F degree oven or dump the whole thing into a crock pot set on low.
- Simmer for at least 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the liquid has not evaporated. If you start to run out of liquid, add a little beer or water. The beef should be fork tender.
- As you check on it, you can begin to break up the meat into shredded chunks with a fork. When it's all done, you should be able to easily pull the meat apart with a fork.
- NOTE: An electric carving knife is best for slicing brisket. Serve the shredded brisket on white sandwich buns with sliced sweet onions and sliced pickles. You can also serve it as tacos with taco fixings and tortillas. This brisket freezes very well.
From David Bulla's article on beef steak.
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 20-25 minutes; Total time: 50-55 minutes
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell
You can also take John Raven's virtual course on basic barbecue