Brisket Tacos

Brisket Tacos
I love Thanksgiving, but by the time the long weekend is over I am ready to move on to something else. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, I can’t get enough of the anticipation surrounding what side dishes will accompany the turkey. After the big meal and days of leftovers, I crave meals that are pretty much the opposite of that signature spread.

With a brisket in my freezer, one of my last farmers market purchases of the season, and my slow cooker, I made brisket tacos. The meat spent all day in a mixture of chili powder, coriander, cumin, chipotles en adobo and tomatoes. A quick pickle of red onions finished off this simple dinner, a much-needed change of pace from the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Brisket Tacos
Brisket Tacos
Adapted from Food Network

Serves 4-6

3 pounds beef brisket
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 white 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
1-14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
2 whole canned chipotle chiles en adobo
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons molasses
8-10 corn tortillas for serving
Pickled red onions for serving, recipe follows

Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until it is almost smoking. Brown the meat, about 5 minutes per side, and transfer to a slow cooker.

Add the garlic, onions, chili powder, coriander and cumin to the skillet sautéing until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add the water and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker followed by the tomatoes, crushing them in your hands, chipotles, bay leaves and molasses. Cover the slow cooker and cook the brisket on low for 8 hours until it is tender and pulls apart with a fork.

Shred the meat before serving with tortillas and topping with picked red onions.

Quick Pickled Red Onions
Adapted from Bon Appetit June 2012

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup water
1 red onion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, salt and water until the sugar and salt dissolve. Place the onions in a jar and add the vinegar mixture. Allow the onions to sit a room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Onions can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.

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