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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tex-Mex Beef Brisket Tostadas

This post may look a teensy bit familiar to some of you. Last month I did a guest post over at Food~Wine~Fun...and this was a nutshell. Since I have had such an incredibly busy week, I haven't had much time spent in the kitchen with my camera, so I thought I'd re-visit this and share it here! When I made this, I wanted something representative of Texas, since that's where Chef E was going to be during my post. I asked her what some of her favorite food was that was representative of Texas. Well she, like me, is a fan of, she passed me her recipe for Beef Brisket. I made a few, very slight alterations...and here is what I came up with... Tex-Mex Beef Brisket 
slightly adapted from a recipe given to me by Chef E (amounts are guesstimates...go w/ the tastes & flavor combos you enjoy) 

 2-3 lb. beef brisket 
Salt I used Espresso Brava Sea Salt (coffee+beef=delicious) 
Black Pepper 
Garlic Powder 
Chili Powder I used Chipotle Chili Powder 
Liquid Smoke 

 Start off by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. This is a 3-something pound brisket. See that thick layer of fat on the top? If you are doubting your butchering skills, ask your butcher to trim this down to ~1/4" thickness. I actually like to do it myself, but I'm cuckoo like that. So, beef brisket...trim... Next, rub your chosen amount of the dry spices all over and into your meat. Set it in your roasting pan fat side up and give it a little liquid smoke massage. Cover tightly with foil (or a lid if you have one) and slide that baby into the oven for ~30-45 minutes per pound.
When you remove it from the oven, carefully lift back the foil (steam!!) and test the middle of the brisket to see if it is "pull" tender (that was Chef E's term). If it isn't, slide it back into the oven for a while longer. When it is done, it'll look a little somethin' like this... Aw yeah..."pull" tender with a delicious crust around the outside! If you're not going to eat it right away, let it cool down a bit and then pull the meat apart and use some of the delicious cooking juices to store it in (refrigerated) so it doesn't dry out. Chef E does some other things with the juices afterwards...but this is my version of her version, and here's what I decided to do with it. 

Refried Black Beans 
1 heaping Tbs. bacon grease 
1 (30 oz) can Black Beans w/ a bit of their juices 
minced onion 
garlic powder 

 Put your bacon grease into a small to medium sized non-stick pan over medium heat. Once it is melted, pour in the black beans with some of their cooking juices. Add your spices and let it bubble away for a while, stirring occasionally. After some of the juices have begun to evaporate, smash up the beans with a potato masher...a few larger chunks are okay by me. Let the beans continue to cook over low heat, stirring here and there.
They are done once they have begun to dry out...and basically look like refried beans. Remove from heat. So, are you wondering what I'm going to do now? Some of the brisket "after-talk" was about tostadas....and if you know me, you know that adding a tortilla to something is never a bad thing. What do you get when you take those refried beans in the picture above and add them to the pulled-beef from the Tex-Mex brisket below... ...and then fry up a few tortillas into crispy tostada shells....
...and then add some Salsa Verde, some Mexican Crema, a bit of chopped green onion, thinly sliced radish, torn up cilantro and chunks of creamy avocado...with a sprinkling of Queso Quesedilla? This, dear friends, is what you get..... Beef Brisket Tostadas...Tex-Mex style! much do I wish that I had actually made these this week!? Forgive me if I seem a bit absent...I'll catch up soon...I hope!