I’ve been trying to write this post for at least a week. I’d like to think my days are so filled with exciting and essential work, of momentous proportions, that I had to continuously delay this post.
Nope. Just my beautiful life. Work, family, chasing chicken gals who escape their chicken yard, chasing Tank down the street because he thinks he’s a hunting dog (I do a lot of chasing), making the 20 weekly trips to the market ( I exaggerate a bit, but not by much) and the mountain of test recipes that go awry and end up in the garbage. Or in Tanks food bowl.
Thankfully, one recipe that didn’t go awry was this beautiful slow braised beef. Barbacoa is the Mexican version of our barbecue. Slow braised, lightly spiced and scented with earthy, smoky flavors of unsweetened cocoa and chipotle chili powder. Topped with spring shades of green cucumber and avocado salsa that balances the rich and decadent dish with bright and refreshing flavors.
Just a little sunshine on the palate while waiting for the summer sun.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa
3 lbs Beef Brisket
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa
½ heaping teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (or Italian)
½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup red wine (or 1 cup beef broth with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar)
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup water, reserved
Crumbled Cotija cheese
Cucumber Avocado Salsa (recipe below)
In a small bowl mix together the unsweetened cocoa, chipotle chili powder, dried oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 325F. Heat a Dutch Oven with a tablespoon or two of oil over medium high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.
Once the brisket is browned, transfer to a dish and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions and sauté until wilted.
Then stir in the garlic, tomato sauce, wine or broth and seasonings. Add the brisket back into the Dutch oven tossing to coat in the sauce and bring the mixture back to a lively simmer.
Place the Dutch oven in the pre-heated oven and let it cook for about 1 ½ – 2 hours, until the brisket is fork tender. After about 45 minutes of cook time, check for liquids. If the pot seems to dry add about ½ cup water to the brisket. Adding the full cup if needed.
Once the brisket is done, shred for tacos. Serve with corn tortillas, cotija cheese and Cucumber Avocado Salsa.
Cucumber Avocado Salsa
1 cucumber, small dice
1 avocado, small dice (I use an avocado that isn’t overly ripe)
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Squeeze of lime juice
Salt to taste
Gently toss the cucumber, avocado, cilantro and lime juice together. Season to taste with salt.
For another fabulous Barbacoa recipe check out http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2013/03/lightened-up-sweet-pork-barbacoa-slow-cooker-recipe/