Tacos de Brisket with Tomatillo Salsa
The addition of tomatillo salsa and chipotle turns a Jewish classic into a Mexican staple.
Yield: serves 8
Time: 4 hours
For the Brisket:
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 lb. lean beef brisket
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups canned tomato puree
- 2 tbsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle Mexican beer
For the Tomatillo Salsa:
- 1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves, plus more, finely chopped, for serving
- 5 medium-to-large tomatillos, husks removed then quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 8 strips each
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut lengthwise into 12 wedges
- 8 (5") corn tortillas, warmed
- lime wedge and finely chopped red onion, for serving
- Make the brisket: Heat the oven to 325°. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, then add to the pan, and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a plate and return the pan to medium heat.
- Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the beer, then return the brisket to the pot and pour enough water into the pot to cover the meat and bring it to a boil. Cover with the lid and bake until the brisket is very tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brisket cool in the cooking liquid.
- Once cooled, remove the brisket from liquid and shred with two forks. Pour the braising liquid into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the liquid to the pot over medium heat, stir in the shredded brisket, and reheat until warmed through.
- Meanwhile, make the tomatillo salsa: In a blender, puree the cilantro with the tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, yellow onion, and avocado, and season with salt.
- Serve the brisket in the tortillas and top with a drizzle of the tomatillo salsa and the red onions, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.