Beef Brisket reminds me of family gatherings back home. Our birthday parties were nothing like the parties my kids attend. We didn’t have theme parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s or at the bowling alley; we had a big family gathering with all the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone else we considered family. If you were a friend, we soon gave you a title of cousin or tia, and you were in. Our little birthday party quickly went from a little potluck to a full blown fiesta.
As soon as everyone arrived the pans of shredded brisket or as we called it, carne deshebrada, came out of nowhere. After that came the huge bowls of potato salad, frijoles de la olla, rajas, tostadas, and of course the twenty million types of salsa and chiles.
Brisket showed up at other types of parties like quinceñeras, baptisms, bridal and baby showers. It was the dish we could always count on. Brisket was usually the meat of choice. Why, you ask? Because it could be made in the oven or a slow cooker ahead of time and it would feed the masses.
I loved it when we had leftover brisket because I knew my mom would make one of several dishes a few days later. The type of dish was determined by whatever we had in the fridge at the time. If we had corn tortillas we’d have tacos or if she rolled them up and fried them we had flautas. If there was brisket and beans left, we had burritos. I don’t remember having much bread growing up, but I do remember having lots of flour and corn tortillas. Who knew that such an innocent piece of beef could wear so many different tortillas?
As a working mother I love preparing dishes that keep on giving for a couple more meals. Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday in my home and as a working mother of two very picky eaters, brisket tacos is one of our favorites. I love it because my slow cooker does all the work for me. I just come home from work and we have delicious tender meat for a slew of meals over the next couple of days. Fresh out of the slow cooker we have tacos, the next day we have tortas or sandwiches, and finally flautas.
Here is our favorite recipe for beef brisket tacos. My kids love tacos with a variety of toppings especially crema Mexicana. I prefer my tacos topped with homemade salsa. Add a side dish and you have a meal your mother would be proud of.
For a lighter version of this dish be sure to serve on warm corn tortillas and eliminate naughty cheese and creams, and instead top with a tasty homemade salsa and avocado slices.
Beef Brisket Tacos
Yield: 12 to 24 tacos
2 to 4 pounds beef brisket
2 ounces liquid smoke per pound of meat (recommend Claude’s Brisket Marinade Sauce)
2 bay leaves
12 ounces beer
12 to 24 corn tortillas (depending on how much you fill each taco)
Crema Mexicana or sour cream
Chopped white onions
Avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
Salsa of choice
Place the brisket, liquid smoke, bay leaves, and beer in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Remove the brisket and shred the meat and discard fat pieces. Warm the corn tortillas. Place shredded brisket in tortillas and add your favorite toppings.
Photography by Jeanine Thurston
Pottery by Cherie Mahon available at email@example.com and in the Santa Fe Art District at CoArt
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