Mexican Spiced Brisket with Charred Tomato Salsa
4-6 pound brisket, first cut, if available
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
2 cups yellow onion, small diced
2 cups carrots, peeled, small diced
2 cups celery, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, do not drain
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 bay leafs
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers
1 bottle beer, lager style
4 cups chicken broth or stock, unsalted
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Season the brisket heavily with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket in the oil in a very large skillet until golden brown all over.
Remove the brisket and place in a roasting pan. Cook the onions, carrots, celery and garlic cloves in the same pan as the meat browned in, stirring. When it caramelizes a bit, add the tomato paste, stirring. When the tomato paste coats all the vegetables, add the canned tomatoes, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, bay leaves and adobo, stir well. Add the beer and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Pour the broth and vegetables mixture over the brisket. Cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil. Cook until very, very tender, about 4-5 hours. The brisket is even better the next day. If cooking the brisket ahead of time, cool in its cooking liquid before putting it in the refrigerator.
I love to slice the brisket and place it back in its cooking juices, then an hour before serving, cover the brisket and reheat it in a 250˚F oven until heated through, about 40 minutes.
Charred Tomato Salsa
2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved
2 jalapenos, stemmed, halved and seeded
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small white onion, peeled and halved
¼ bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems
juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 500˚F. Place the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic and onion on baking sheets and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Roast on top rack off the oven, rotating the tray once, until the vegetables are slightly charred. Remove, allow to cool. Pulse in a food processor until blended but a little chunky. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and sugar. Pulse in the in lime juice and cilantro. Salsa should be a little chunky.