I've launched a little food-related project in conjunction with the folks at Fooducopia, a site where small food producers sell their products. My part in this is that I'll be creating recipes specifically for products sold on the Fooducopia site. This is one of those recipes. This time, the product was Honey Chipotle Hot Sauce made by Zane and Zack's.
Brisket is an amazingly versatile cut of meat. Not only is it the meat that's used to make corned beef, it can be used like a pot roast or barbecue. The key to cooking brisket is cooking for a long time on low heat, but you can do that in the dry heat in a smoker or you can braise it in a crock pot or dutch oven.
Whenever I braise a tough cut of meat, I like to cool the meat in the cooking liquid, refrigerate it overnight, and reheat it the next day for serving. It's not an old wives tale that braised food tastes better the next day - the meat actually changes texture during the cooking, and it is better when reheated than it was when it was first cooked. Than makes this a perfect dish to make ahead. You're not serving leftovers - you're serving planned-ahead food.
If I was making a pot roast, I would have added vegetables and seasonings when I braised the meat, but this time all I was looking for a was a spicy meat to use for tacos, so I skipped the vegetables. For the seasoning, I used Zane and Zack's Honey Chipotle Hot Sauce. It packs a decent amount of heat, but it's also sweet and smokey, so it's more complex than if you threw a couple hot peppers into the pot. It didn't need anything else for flavoring.
Spicy Brisket Tacos
For the brisket:
1-2 pound brisket
1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Hot Sauce
3 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and chopped into roug
Place the brisket in a crock pot or Dutch oven and add water so the meat is half-submerged in the water. For my beef and crockpot, that was about 2 cups of water. Add the Honey Chipotle Hot sauce, stirring it into the water. Cover the crock pot or Dutch oven.
In a crock pot on low, the brisket will take 5-6 hours to cook, depending on your crockpot. In the Dutch oven on a low flame or in the oven at 325 degrees, it will be done in about 2 hours. What's more important than the time is the tenderness. The meat is done when it's fork-tender and shreds easily.
Remove the meat from the crock pot and put it into a suitable storage container. Cover the meat with as much cooking liquid as will fit. Let the meat cool until the container is warm, but not hot, then refrigerate.
The next day, cut or shred the meat. Heat a skillet on medium and add the meat and the chopped potatoes, and heat. Add some of the meat cooking liquid to moisten. You don't want it swimming in liquid, so just add as much as the meat and potatoes absorb.
Serve on tortillas with guacamole, sliced limes for those who like a little extra acid. Pass the hot sauce at the table for those who like more meat.
If you don't have your own favorite guacamole, try this Rick Bayless recipe, or this fast and simple guacamole.
To be clear, I'm not reviewing or endorsing the products in this recipe. I've created the recipe for Fooducopia to post its site and I'm re-posting the recipe here for my readers as well. Then again, since I created the recipe, rest assured that I liked it. I don't cook stuff that we're not going to eat.