I love watching the show “Chopped” on the Food Network. That is how I have come to know the name Alex Guarnaschelli since she is one of the judges. I came across her recipe for Brisket Tacos with Red Cabbage in the May 2011 Food Network Magazine. I often change up recipes that I find in books and magazines to better suit the tastes of my family, but not this one. I figured she probably knows what she’s talking about and they can just deal with it. I was right! My entire family absolutely loved these tacos! They passed on the red cabbage as I knew they would, but that just left more for me! This dish is a little more labor intensive than those that I normally cook. However, it was well worth it. This one is a definite keeper with no need to change a thing!!
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 3 1/2 hours
Ingredients for 8-10 people:
FOR THE BRISKET:
2 heads garlic, unpeeled and halved crosswise, plus 6 cloves garlic
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 – 4 1/2 lb. brisket
Fresh ground pepper
1 T. smoked paprika
1 T. chili powder
3 T. canola oil
3 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. beef stock
2 bay leaves
16-20 small flour tortillas
FOR THE RED CABBAGE SLAW:
1 small head shaved red cabbage
3 T. red wine vinegar
Splash of olive oil
Dab of Siracha
Salt (to taste)
Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:
Preparing Brisket Tacos with Red Cabbage:
1. Preheat oven to 325. Place the halved garlic heads in a single layer on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt. Fold the foil into a pocket; roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the brisket: Pulse the garlic cloves in a food processor to make a paste. Season both sides of the brisket with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Heat 2 T. canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the meat to the pot in a single layer and brown both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove the meat from the pot and spread with garlic paste.
3. Drain the oil and wipe out the Dutch oven. Add the remaining 1 T. of canola oil to the pot and warm over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and stir in the brown sugar; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Return brisket to the pot, add the wine and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaf and return to simmer. Cover, transfer to oven and cook until meat is tender, about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
4. Remove the brisket from the pot and let rest for 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and put the pot with the braising liquid over medium heat; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and whisk into liquid. Taste and seasons with salt and pepper if necessary. Thinly slice the brisket against the grain and toss with some of the roasted garlic sauce. Warm the tortillas; fill with the brisket and top with red cabbage slaw.
Red Cabbage Slaw
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside and let the vinegar work its magic!
Don’t rush it. The reward is so great as the meat just falls apart and then melts in your mouth!
The leftover meat heats up wonderfully. I put it in my kids’ thermos for lunch the following day and their friends were jealous!