I hope you took those plantain tortillas I posted last week as a hint! If you crave tacos packed with flavor, barbacoa brisket tacos are a great place to turn.
The shredded barbacoa brisket is packed with smokey flavor and a low heat. Easy toppings—thinly sliced red cabbage and pickled onions and radishes—add pops of color and crunch.
I chose brisket because I had it in my freezer. Typically, I buy my beef from a local ranch in bulk (¼ cow at a time). That means I end up with high quality cuts normally out of my price range, like brisket and prime rib. Anyway, this brisket had to get used. What better way to use it than braising it low and slow in a spicy sauce? No. Regrets. Here.
You could use beef chuck if you truly don't want to go with brisket. Follow the same method, but also note that the cooking time might change. I'd start checking it at 2.5 hours and every half hour after that.
What makes this barbacoa brisket different? Well, I use dried chilies instead of chili powder. It makes a huge difference for flavor. I first read about using dried chilies from Serious Eats, and decided to give it a try in this recipe.
If you see the dried chilies and think "whelp, that's too much for me", please reconsider! Yeah, I'm asking you to head to the store and buy something you might normally skip. But, the dried chipotle and ancho chilies cost me maybe $5 together (and I have plenty of chipotle chilies leftover). And if you're a fan of big flavor, you'll be so happy you used them.
To bring these barbacoa brisket tacos together, you need good tortillas. My top pick are plantain tortillas. In the event I can't get my hands on plantains, I always have the ingredients for Stupid Easy Paleo's Tortillas. Truthfully, though, sometimes I don't feel like making tortillas at all, so I just top a roasted sweet potato or sweet potato fries with my fillings. (Gotta keep life simple!)
I love toppings that add crunch. For these tacos I sliced some red cabbage real thin and fished out a jar of pickled radishes and pickled red onions (sometimes I quick-pickle different veggies in the same jar). Add a squeeze of lime juice, and voila. Irresistible barbacoa brisket tacos!
Paleo Barbacoa Brisket TacosPrint
For The Barbacoa Brisket
- 1 flat beef brisket (3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 3 whole dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cups bone broth
For The Tacos
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
- Add dried chiles to a dutch oven over medium high heat for 2 to 5 minutes, flipping once halfway, until the chiles are slightly darkened and fragrant. Add broth and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 8 minutes, then remove from heat. Pour chiles and broth into a high powered blender and blend on high for 1 minute or until smooth.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the dutch oven over high heat. Sear brisket on both sides (3-5 minutes on each side). If the brisket is too large for your dutch oven, cut it into large chunks and sear for about a minute on each side. Remove from dutch oven and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the dutch oven and stirring occasionally. Add garlic cloves and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, clove, and cinnamon, cooking for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add apple cider vinegar and lime juice, again scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by about half.
- Add seared brisket, nestling into the onions. Add bay leaves and sauce. Cover and cook for about 3 hours, until meat shows little resistance when poked with a fork. Take out of the oven. Remove brisket and bay leaves. Return dutch oven to stovetop and heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat.
- Shred the brisket with two forks and return to sauce, stirring until completely coated.
- To assemble the tacos, pile a couple tablespoons or so of barbacoa brisket on a plantain tortilla. Top with pickled radishes, pickled onions, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.
- Serving Size: about 6 ounces
Keywords: Barbacoa Brisket Tacos