Brisket birria tacos

This is a little something that won’t get a mention on a quick-and-easy Old El Paso authentic-Mexican-at-home shelf pack.

This is the real McCoy, or the Mexican worded version thereof.

This is brisket cooked down in a spicy, aromatic broth until its pull apart tender (and that broth is spicy and aromatic with things that are not just cumin, chilli and oregano), then the meat is shredded and put into tortillas which are dipped in the broth and then the tacos are cooked on the flat grill and then served with more broth for dipping, AKA sex appeal. Does that sound a little too complicated for you? Well, sometimes life is a little complicated sweetie pie, and you’ve just got to put a little extra effort in for full points at the end.

This is genius.

This is also so damn on trend at the moment that we are in danger of the hipsters stealing the concept and serving them out of their ‘buch’ bars (look that up), so I would suggest you get some into yourself now before they’re out of your grasp and in the hands of a hobbitesque little hipster chef.

NB. It is more traditional to marinate the beef in everything from the garlic down to the vinegar in the ingredients list, but I find this also works if you are in a little bit of a hurry.

Load ’em up
Serve them with fresh lime and broth
It’s a sad moment when you realise they are almost gone


Serves 4-5 people

800 g beef brisket, cut into large chunks (this could be shin or chuck I’m sure)
1 onion, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 ancho chillies, rehydrated in hot water for 15 minutes
½ cup chipotle in adobo
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
½ cup tomato passata
¼ cup white vinegar
1 lt beef or chicken stock

15 tortillas
¼ white onion, small dice
1 handful coriander, roughly chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mexi blend)
1 lime, quartered

Heat a large, heavy based pot over medium high flame. Add a splash of some kind of oil.
Season beef with salt and pepper and add to pot. Sauté until it has a bit of colour on it.
Add onions and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until onions are soft.
Add all other ingredients except tomato passata, vinegar and stock, cook out for another 5 minutes.
Add final ingredients and stir through.
Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Once meat is tender, and only once meat is tender, you may carry on. You can rectify the problem of tough meat by cooking out for longer. Start with 20 minutes and then try another 20 and so on until meat is tender.
Strain liquid into a bowl or some kind of receptacle and set aside. You will need this soon.
Shred meat.
Now drag your tortillas, one by one, through the reserved broth. Save any extra broth for later.
Build your tacos with enough shredded brisket to cover half of the tortilla, plus a little cheese, onion and coriander.
Fold tortilla over to form the taco and pan fry (or the flat grill of a gas BBQ works a treat) over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes each side.
Serve with fresh lime and remaining broth for dipping.
Cook it again tomorrow before the hipsters get hold of it.

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