Beef brisket lends itself surprisingly well to tacos. Maybe it's because the brisket is slow cooked for 8 hours in spices. Or it might be because the long cooking time transforms an inexpensive tough cut of meat into a "melt in your mouth it's so packed with flavor" cut of meat. Either way, the brisket elevates these tacos beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 pounds beef brisket
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 whole chipotle chile pepper en adobo from one can Not one can.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup molasses
- For serving:
- Small soft tortillas. I suggest some slaw, pickled onions and/or pickled jalapeños.
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker; leave the skillet on the heat.
Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket. Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 hours.
To serve, leave the meat in the slow cooker and use two forks to pull it apart and stir it evenly into the sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove and discard bay leaves.