What a Crock {southwestern brisket}

Some of the recipes on this website are mine – things I have been making for a while with no guidelines (maybe there were at some point, but that was long enough ago that they’ve become mine). Some of them are not. I don’t really know if blog/recipe plagiarism exists, but I freely admit that I’m ripping stuff off.  Like this delicious recipe for southwestern brisket.

Born of a food network kitchens recipe, I almost follow this recipe with only a few changes and additions but it’s close enough where you could leave here and go to this link for the recipe. But you know there won’t be any pictures and there certainly won’t be any sarcasm. And that’s why you come here – the web’s most delicious sarcasm.

I don’t make this into sandwiches (as per the food network’s suggestion) – why would you use bread when there are perfectly tasty tortillas out there?  Here’s what I make:

And it tastes good.  Here’s the low-down on how to get those (above) into your mouth in (wait for it) only EIGHT HOURS!  I make these in a crock pot but I’m assuming that you could do the same thing in a dutch oven (tee hee hee) in a very low oven if you felt so inclined. I prefer to throw it back to a simpler time when you just plugged in a large appliance and added meat and stuff and spent the day ironing sheets and downing martinis.

Other than the crock, here’s what you’ll need (this is 1/2 the recipe in the link – and it will feed two people for dinner and leftovers at least once… or, doing wildly complicated math, will feed four):

– 1.5 lb. beef brisket

– 3 cloves garlic

– 1 Vidalia/Spanish/yellow onion, sliced thin

– 1/2 tablespoon chili powder

– 1 teaspoon ground coriander

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

– 3/4 cup water

– 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes, in puree

– 1 canned chipotle in adobo*

– 1 bay leaf

– 1.5 tablespoon brown sugar

– 1 jalapeño, very roughly chopped so you can remove if you want

– salt and pepper

* I realize that I have dogged chipotle chiles on this blog before and while I standby my original attestation that I think they’re ubiquitous where they shouldn’t be, THIS is a recipe where I think they work really well and remain in the background rather than overpower everything around them. I’m not a hypocrite, I just switch a lot (what up, Big Pun!?).

The rule for crock pots is to add cold things to a cold crock pot and hot things to a preheated crock pot.  Since we need to brown the brisket, you’ll need to go ahead and turn your slow cooker to low. Next, as Dad always said growing up, be sure to season your meat (he would also inquire about the “angle of the dangle” and the “square of the hair” at this point). Heat up a couple teaspoons of canola oil in a skillet and brown both sides of the brisket until you get some good color on there.

Once your brisket looks like that, pull it out of the pan and toss it in the crock pot. Keep the skillet on and add the onions, garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin to the pan and sauté for a minute or two. Then add the 1/8 cup vinegar and get all up in there. Hot vinegar steam feels great in your eyes. (For those of you who may not understand sarcasm, let me warn you that it just happened – don’t put your face up in there, please.) Scrape up the bits then pour the water in for final scrapening and dump over the brisket in the crock pot.

That goes in here…

…along with the tomatoes (smoosh them in your hands first and watch them squirt onto your blinds), the much-maligned chipotle pepper, bay leaf and brown sugar. Cover and in eight to ten short hours, you’ll have brisket fit for tacos/enchiladas/burritos/smoothies – whatever floats your boat.

This is great as leftovers during the week and freezes well. I serve with some homemade “refried” black beans, salsa, cheese, diced red onion and cilantro (and gas-x cherry creme chewables). You should too.