Brisket Tacos with Corn Tortillas, Sour Cream & Guacamole

by Ann Marie Michaels on July 14, 2011

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brisket tacos

I love Tex Mex. It’s my comfort food. My very favorite Tex Mex meal in all the world is at a place called Mia’s Tex Mex in Dallas. The very best thing on the menu is their confoundingly fabulous and unforgettable brisket tacos.

Tender, slow-braised beef smothered with rich, succulent gravy in a warm corn tortilla, with a little melted jack cheese sprinkled on top, and some sour cream and guacamole to top it all off. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered anything else on the menu. Why mess with perfection?

I decided to try making them at home and I can’t even tell you how good they came out. You’ll just have to try it for yourself. My husband’s very favorite meal used to be my ground beef tacos, but he agreed that these brisket tacos are now his favorite (actually, they are probably tied with my carnitas recipe.)

This is also a very economical meal. It’s a wonderful way to use brisket, which is an inexpensive cut of meat.

It’s also a great way to get mineral-rich bone broth into your family. This recipe uses 4 whole cups.

Recipe Notes:

I have no idea if this recipe is anything close to what they do at Mia’s but I did my best from memory. It certainly tastes great so I’m going with it. I changed the recipe a bit — left off the grilled onions and poblanos (you could add them if you like.)

Things to do Ahead: You need to cook the brisket for 3-5 hours so plan accordingly.

Brisket Tacos with Corn Tortillas, Sour Cream & Guacamole

Difficulty: Easy
Serves 4

Ingredients

Tacos:
Butter, lard, duck fat, or refined, expeller pressed coconut oil (2-3 TBS) — where to buy coconut oil
Cumin (1 tsp)
Cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
Oregano, dried (1 tsp)
Brisket, grass-fed (3 lbs) — where to buy brisket
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground — where to buy black pepper
Beef or chicken stock, ideally homemade, or store bought organic (4 cups) — click here for my beef stock recipe; click here for my chicken stock recipe
Arrowroot or corn starch (2-3 TBS) — where to buy cornstach
Sprouted corn tortillas, organic, homemade or store bought (1 package)
Cheese, grass-fed, organic (4 oz) — where to buy cheese
Sour cream, grass-fed, organic (1 container)

Guacamole:
Avocados (3)
Lemon or lime (1)
Garlic clove (1)
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Equipment

Large roasting pan or Cast iron skillet and crockpot
Fork or lemon reamer

Directions

Tacos:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (or get out your crockpot).
2. Peel and thinly slice the onions.
3. Set the pan across two burners, set the heat on medium, and add 2-3 tablespoons of the fat.
4. If necessary, cut the brisket into 2-3 large pieces that will fit into your roasting pan.
5. Sprinkle the meat lightly all over with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of fat to the pan and set on medium heat (again, across 2 burners).
7. When the pan is hot, add the meat and sear well until it is a nice brown on both sides (about 3-5 minutes per side).
8. Remove meat and sprinkle on both sides with cumin, cayenne pepper, and oregano.
9. If using a crockpot, transfer the beef to the crockpot.
10. Pour 3 cups of stock over the beef.
11. Cover with a lid and cook at 300 degrees (or on low in crock pot) until beef is very tender. It will take anywhere from 3 1/2 to 5 hours, depending on the cut and your oven. You will know it’s done when you can stab it with a fork or wooden spoon and it gives way easily — it will shred easily with your fork.
12. When done, remove the meat from a pan and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes or so.
13. Meanwhile, steam the corn tortillas. Here’s how I do it: Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in a dish cloth. Add a little water to a stock pot with a steaming insert. Add the tortillas, put the lid on, and let them steam for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
14. Set the roasting pan across two burners (or if you used a crock pot, transfer the meat drippings and fat into a pan). Pour off some of the fat if necessary — you only want a few tablespoons worth of fat.
15. Turn the heat on medium high and add 3/4 cup of stock.
16. Meanwhile, stir a couple tablespoons of arrowroot or corn starch into 1/4 cup of stock until it’s well-blended.
17. Add the arrowroot and stock mixture to the pan.
18. Cook, stirring frequently, until it has reduced in half and it has the consistency of gravy.
19. After the meat has rested, slice it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices across the grain.
20. Spoon the meat into corn tortillas and smother with gravy.
21. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole. (You could also garnish with raw onions, cilantro, or hot sauce.)

Guacamole:
1. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and place into a small bowl.
2. Peel and finely mince the garlic. Add to the bowl.
3. Rinse the lemon or lime, cut in half and using a fork or lemon reamer, squeeze out all of the juice into the bowl.
4. Coarsely mash all together.
5. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Photo credit: pink_fish13 on Flickr
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