Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas

Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas

T-minus 36 days until I am released from the hell that I call college and many people around me call ‘that place that flips her bitch switch.’ Whoever decided that these are supposed to be the best years of your life was clearly not all there. The only thing that is really helping me through these last 5 weeks is therapeutic mini dance parties. Stressed? Overwhelmed? Perhaps just whelmed? Dance it out. Let it go. Have no shame. Canned Heat by Jamiroquai works wonders during a study break. Or The Way You Make Me Feel. Really anything from the Center Stage soundtrack or anything Michael Jackson. Except don’t listen to I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. That can put you in a dark place. 

Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas

So I’ve done a lot of dancing. I’ve also been distracting myself by creating new recipes and making some really fun things for dinner, like these Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas. I start by cooking a big hunk of beef brisket low and slow (4 hours, baby) in a smoky and slightly spicy ancho chile sauce. Then I crisp up some corn tortillas in the oven, but you could use flour tortillas if you prefer. I top the tortillas with a big pile of shredded brisket and some pickled tomatillos, cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco. Bonus: This recipe is great if you’re feeding a crowd. Tostadas can work a lot like a taco bar. You can get everything ready ahead of time and then assemble.

Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ancho chile-rubbed beef brisket tostadas topped with pickled tomatillos and queso fresco.
Author:
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Ingredients
FOR THE BRISKET:
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (2½ pound) boneless beef brisket
FOR THE TOSTADAS:
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
Directions
FOR THE BRISKET:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and let the chiles steep in the liquid for 15 minutes. Transfer the chiles and liquid to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place the brisket in a large baking dish and spread the chile purée over the top. Add enough water to the pan to come ½-inch up the sides and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature for 300°F and cook for another 3 hours, until the brisket is very tender.
FOR THE TOSTADAS:
  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the tomatillos in a small bowl. Once the liquid comes to a boil, pour over the tomatillos. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Brush the vegetable oil over the corn tortillas and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  3. To assemble, shred the brisket into bite-size pieces and distribute the meat between the tortillas. Top each tostada some of the pickled tomatillos, cilantro, queso fresco, and a few slices of radish and serve.

 

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