This is a Tex Mex-favorite in Dallas - mini soft corn tortillas topped with smoked brisket,
chopped red onion, shredded red cabbage and pepper jack cheese.
- 3 pounds brisket or chuck roast
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into quarters
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and stems removed, cut in half, lengthwise
- 2 leafy stems cilantro
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 cup (4 ounces) pepper Jack cheese
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Flour tortillas
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the brisket or chuck roast with salt and black pepper.
- In a large ovenproof pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat up the oil on
medium-low, and brown the beef on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the beef from the pot and add the onions. While occasionally
stirring, cook until they begin to brown.
- Add the garlic cloves and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour the red wine vinegar into the pot, scraping
along the bottom to loosen all of the particles.
- Return the beef to the pot. If using brisket, place it fat side up. Pour
in the beef broth and add the cumin, jalapeños, cilantro and bay leaf. Cover
the pot and place in the oven. Cook the brisket for 6 hours or until it’s fork tender.
- After removing beef from the oven, let it rest in the pot uncovered for
- Meanwhile, to make the taco toppings, roast the poblano chiles under the
broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side.
- Place chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight
and let the chile steam for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chiles from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove stem and
seeds and cut the chiles into strips.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium low, and add the chopped
onion. While occasionally stirring, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cut poblano strips and cook for 1 more minute.
- After the beef has rested, remove it from the pot, cut off the fat cap
(if using the brisket) and shred the meat with two forks until it’s in long strands.
- To make the gravy, strain the cooled broth, throwing out the vegetables.
Remove the fat from the broth with a gravy separator. Or alternatively, you
can take a quart-sized plastic storage bag and pour some broth into it. Snip
a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the
fat layer that is on top. Add 2 tablespoons of the gravy to the shredded
brisket, reserving the rest for serving. Taste the beef and adjust seasonings.
- To make the tacos, place on one side of each tortilla some pepper Jack
and slide the tortillas under the broiler for 30 seconds or until the cheese
is melted. Fill the tortillas with shredded beef and top with some of the onions and poblano strips.
- Serve with the pot juices and salsa.
- Serve with a side of salsa, mashed avocado and a jalapeño.
Yield: 4-6 servings
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