I do love Mexican food (see my earlier posts on chicken enchiladas, breakfast tacos, shrimp enchiladas, chile verde recipes!) and I happen to always be looking for new ways to use my pressure cooker… It’s fast, easy and turns out wonderfully moist and tender meat. So I figured I’d give brisket a try, Mexican style! I have to say, the meat was fantastic, and the flavors worked very well together. I think when push comes to shove, I still prefer pork (carnitas), but this is an excellent choice and great for a crowd.
2 plum tomatoes, halved and cored, then grilled
3 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/8 cup canola oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp mixed chile powders (chipotle, pasilla, New Mexican, Californian, Cayenne, etc.
2 Tbsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chile peppers in adobo
A 3-lb beef brisket, well-trimmed
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 additional cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp softened butter mixed with 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
freshly made or store bought salsa
chopped white onion
fresh cilantro sprigs
Put the grilled tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, oil, vinegar, cumin, sugar, chile powders and chipotle adobo sauce in a blender. Blend until puréed. Score the fat side of the brisket (which will help keep the meat from curling when cooking) and place in a large ziploc bag. Add the puréed marinade, seal and place in the fridge to marinate between 4 and 24 hours.
Remove the brisket from the marinade and reserve marinade. Salt & pepper the meat generously on both sides. Heat the pressure cooker using the ‘brown’ setting. When hot, add a few Tbsp of olive oil, then add the brisket (in 2 pieces if needed), fat side down. Brown both sides, then remove to a plate. Change the setting on the pressure cooker to sauté, add a little more oil if needed, and saute the onions and garlic until onions are soft. Place the meat atop the onions. Mix the reserved marinade with the beef broth and add to the pressure cooker. Set the pressure cooker on high and cook for 55 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Remove the meat from the pot, and set on a cutting board, loosely tented with foil. Empty the cooking liquid into a sauce pan, and reduce over high heat for about 10 minutes, while the meat is resting. Blend the butter and flour into a roux, then whisk into the sauce and continue to cook until slightly thickened.
Slice the meat into thin slices against the grain, or shred (“pull”) with forks. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl, and spoon some of the sauce over the meat to moisten. Serve with corn tortillas, fresh or store-bought salsa, guacamole, chopped white onion and sprigs of fresh cilantro.