A wise man once told me duty is a cruel master, which may be the reason Dos Anos is proving to be much harder than Year 1. Sure there were times last year when I was in a funk “My Apologies”, but those seemed to be short-lived.
Since rejoining the rank and file of the employed and under-appreciated, my creative give a schit meter has been pegged in the red. No longer am I drinking to inspire creativity; I am now drinking to get through day. For weeks, I have lamented over what to write for my blog. And for weeks, I have come up with nothing. I will have to admit, I am starting to get concerned. Either I am running out of good bullschit or I am becoming old and boring. Hell, if this keeps up, I am going to be just another over-weight, Southern female cooking personality, with a voice that will peel paint off the wall.
Typically, when I start feeling a little azul, a good pick me up is to grab a beer, put a primal cut of meat on the smoker and relax and watch a little football….which is just what I would do had my smoker, my car, my golf clubs and seemingly everything else I enjoy not recently spouted legs and walked off. So until I have the funds to replace all those items I so graciously donated to some piece of schit rat bastards, all my cooking is being done indoors.
Fortunately for me, primal cuts can be cooked quite nicely indoors. Take the brisket. Without question, best served 16 to 18 hours right off a warm pit; but when braised low and slow in the oven and served on a warm corn tortilla with melting cheese, it can be a satisfying alternative. Here is my “Twisted” take on brisket tacos.
3 to 4 pound brisket*
2 T vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, julienned
1 head of garlic, peeled
12 oz dark Mexican beer
1 c beef stock
3 jalapenos, seeded and julienned
1 poblano pepper, seeded and julienned
1 t cumin
1 t Mexican oregano
10 sprigs fresh cilantro, whole
1 bay leaf
1 c Monterey Jack cheese
1 small white onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 limes, quartered
1 avocado, sliced
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
If not already trimmed, trim fat on brisket to approximately ¼ inch.
In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium and brown both sides of the brisket, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Once browned, remove brisket from Dutch oven and set aside. Lower heat to medium-low; add onions and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in beer to deglaze pan and remove from heat.
Return brisket to Dutch oven, fat side up. Add beef stock, cumin, oregano, jalapenos, poblano, cilantro and bay leaf. Cover with lid and place in the oven. Cook brisket for 6 to 7 hours or until brisket is fork tender.
Serve on warm tortilla with your choice of sides: Monterey Jack cheese, cooked vegetables, onion, cilantro, avocado and lime.
* The size of briskets differ greatly. Allow 1.5 hours cooking time per pound of meat.
Twisted Epilogue: And why do the Aggies want to go to the SEC when they can’t even beat the farmers from Oklahoma? Beats the hell outa me!