Southwestern Pulled Brisket

Southwestern Pulled Brisket

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  • 3 pounds beef brisket
  • s&p
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 to 2 whole canned chipotle chiles en adobo (we used 2 peppers - do not use the whole can)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • corn tortillas (taco-sized)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the beef generously with s&p, to taste. Heat a large Le Creuset (or other Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on all sides, about 10-12 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside; leave the Le Creuset on the heat.
Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to skillet and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water and return the brisket to the Le Creuset fat-side up. Top the brisket with some of the softened onions. Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the pot; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Cover the Le Creuset and put it in the oven. Cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 3 hours. Check on the brisket at least once or twice during this time period to ensure that the liquid has not boiled away and spoon some braising liquid over the top of the brisket. If the brisket looks dry and the liquid has evaporated, add more water.
Remove the brisket from the oven when tender and set aside to cool for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove brisket from the Le Creuset and set aside on a cutting board. Turn off the oven. Use two forks to pull the brisket part. Strain the sauce to remove the solids and return the brisket to the sauce. Toss to combine.

While the brisket is cooling, wrap the corn tortillas in aluminum foil in 2 packages of 3-4 tortillas each. Warm the tortillas in the oven using the residual heat from the brisket.

Serve brisket with warm tortillas, slaw and pickled shallots.