Saturday, February 22, 2014

Amazing Beef Barbacoa

A-brisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket…

Isn't that how it goes?

We know the Superbowl can make us do crazy things. People splurge on ginormous TVs. Companies pay $4 million for a 30-second commercial. Americans eat 10 million pounds of guacamole. Danielle buys a brisket (gasp!).

It was my very first brisket. I saw a recipe for barbacoa nachos, which I decided must be our Superbowl grub. The nachos were complete with tender, tangy brisket, homemade cheese sauce, pickled red onions, and more. And even after the nachos we had several pounds of barbacoa leftover to make dinners throughout the week. You can use the meat in quesadillas, wraps, tacos, over polenta, etc.  Or you can eat it cold with a fork like my husband!

A before shot of my $20 slab of brisket bathing in its marinade:

An after shot, ready to be pulled:

Cooking meat like this (low and slow) is as easy as it can get — and you can eat for a week off of it! A little work goes a long way on this one...

Beef Barbacoa (makes a LOT — how's that for exact?!)
Adapted from Serious Eats

3-4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat and shiny silver sinew
16 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 whole chipotle chile en adobo
1 tbsp. adobo sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 bay leaves

The night before: Place brisket in a large resealable bag. In a blender, combine tomatoes with juice, cumin, chile powder, cocoa powder, oregano, vinegar, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour marinade into the bag over brisket, making sure that all sides are coated. Seal bag tightly, removing as much air as possible, and place it in a baking dish (in case anything leaks). Place in the refrigerator overnight, turning at least once.

The next day: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place brisket and marinade in a Dutch oven. Add bay leaves. On the stove, bring just to a simmer over high heat. Then cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 4 hours, until meat is fork tender and shreds easily.

Remove meat from the cooking liquid (reserve), discard bay leaves, and allow meat to cool for about 15 minutes. Shred the brisket with two forks, and transfer to a bowl. Skim any fat off of the top of the cooking liquid and then pour about 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat to keep it moist.

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