Slow-Cooked Brisket Tacos with Grilled Spring Onions and Tomatillo Salsa – Dani Valent

Slow-Cooked Brisket Tacos with Grilled Spring Onions and Tomatillo Salsa

A delicious slow-cooked beef dish that works so well with tacos

Fall-apart spiced meat, a tart and zesty salsa, grilled greens all tucked into a taco – this dish is a winner! It’s great for a family meal but I’ve also served it for casual gatherings with all the fixings laid out for people to make their own tacos. The flavours are brilliant!

In this video, I cook the dish for Justine Schofield on her show Everyday Gourmet. It was so much fun to cook with Justine.

Brisket is a great secondary cut taken from the front part of the underside of the animal. It’s generally sold boneless and can also be separated into the front (point) end and the flatter rear section. Brisket loves a slow cook and is economical, generally about half the price of prime cuts.

A wet slather adds flavour and character, while the dry rub adds a light crust. Cooking low and slow (in an oven or smoker) means the meat is supremely tender and will easily pull apart. The zesty salsa cuts through the richness of the brisket, while the green spring onion brings another texture and grilled flavour profile.

This brisket is a great feed-a-crowd meal with tacos but you can also serve it with rice, or in rolls. If you have any left, it heats up beautifully the next day, or can be eaten cold.

This recipe is an adaptation of a dish that comes from Hagen’s Organics, a great ethical butcher in Melbourne. Here more from Oliver Hagen and learn more about brisket, and beef in general, on my Beef page. The recipe first appeared in my Good Food story about underloved meat cuts.

Tomatillo

Serves: 8-10
Time: 30 minutes preparation plus 24 hours marinating and 10 hours cooking

Ingredients

Brisket

  • 2kg (70.5 lbs) brisket

Slather

  • ½ cup yellow mustard (see Tips)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup beer, plus a splash for cooking (we use dark beer)

Rub

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt (see Tips)
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

  • 1 medium-large white onion, cut into chunks
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 jalapeno chillies, seeds removed
  • 500 grams (17.6 oz) tomatillos, fresh or canned (see Tips)
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves and stems, well washed
  • 1 large lime, juice only
  • 2 tsp sea salt

To serve

  • 1 bunch spring onions, cut in 10cm (4 in) lengths
  • small tortillas, flour or corn
  • coriander leaves, to garnish

Method

Slather

1. In a container large enough to hold the brisket, whisk together all the ingredients for the slather.

2. Put brisket in the container with the slather, ensuring all the meat has contact with the slather. Cover the container and allow meat to marinate in the refrigerator for at least six and up to 24 hours. Turn over half-way through to ensure even coating.

Rub

3. Place all rub ingredients in mixing bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 10. Set aside. Alternatively, use a food processor or mortar and pestle to blend to a fine powder.

Brisket

4. When brisket has marinated in slather, remove brisket from liquid and allow it to drain off. Lightly sprinkle rub all over brisket.

5. Allow to sit for another hour, if you can be bothered! If not, proceed with cooking!

6. Preheat oven to 140ºC (280ºF). Place the brisket in a roasting dish, add a splash of beer and cover tightly with foil. Cook for 10 hours. Check occasionally and add a little more beer or water if it’s drying out. See Tips.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

7. For the salsa, add the onion, garlic and jalapenos to mixing bowl and blend 4 sec/speed 6. Alternatively, use a food processor. Add tomatillos, coriander, lime juice and salt. Blend 15 sec/speed 7 (or in a food processor) to a textured salsa. Add a little water, if necessary, to ensure a wet, spoonable texture.

To serve

8. Grill spring onions on a lightly oiled grill until nicely coloured and soft. Lightly toast tortillas in a dry pan. Slice or tear brisket into large pieces. Place some brisket in each tortilla, top with a grilled spring onion and finish with a generous spoon of salsa verde and a few coriander leaves.

Tips

  • American mustard is classic here, but I have also used Dijon.
  • Brisket can also be smoked, if you have a smoker. Smoke at 120ºC (250ºF) until internal temperature is 90ºC (195ºF), about 12 hours.
  • I have cooked the brisket overnight, ie. for about 16 hours, starting at 100ºC (212ºF) then turning it up to 140ºC (250ºF) for the last two-three hours.
  • Meat varies: the result you’re looking for is that the meat can be pulled apart with a fork.
  • Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes but they have a papery outer skin. They’re firm, like underripe tomatoes, with a tarty, fruity flavour. The growing season is short but they are also available tinned. If you can’t find tomatillos, substitute firm tomatoes, green if possible.

More about this recipe

  • I use one of my Barbecue Spice Rubs in this recipe. I love having great building blocks on flavour on hand to create all kinds of dishes.
  • See more about brisket, and beef in general, on my Beef page.
  • These juicy Mexican-style brisket tacos team perfectly with my Peach Margarita!
  • Create a real Mexican taco party by cooking this easy Chicken Tinga too.
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