Even though it’s still quite cold in the mornings and evenings, signs of Spring are popping up everywhere. Our “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” is sporting a few blooms, the leaves on the tree outside our bedroom window is starting to return and the air has that fresh Spring scent to it. Yet, I still yearn for foods cooked slowly until it is meltingly tender, and that is exactly what this slow-cooked beef brisket chili delivers.
When I asked my butcher which meat I should use for a deep and rich chili he immediately suggested brisket and gave me a huge (read : Gigantic) brisket on the bone. He did offer to cut it off the bone but I wanted the bone and fat to impart flavour into the sauce. On hindsight, I should’ve taken him up on his offer as separating the meat from the bone and fat (and there’s quite a bit of fat there) is quite a mission.
In stead of braising the brisket on the stove, I decided to place it in my biggest roasting dish with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, spices and herbs and allowed it to cook long and slowly for approximately 7 hours until the meat was tender and succulent. I removed the enormous brisket (approximately 3.5kg with the bone in) and shredded the meat before placing it back into the vegetables which had now turned into a rich sauce. I placed it back into the oven for another hour and the end result was finger-licking, lip-smackingly good.
Rich, deep and aromatic shredded beef served inside a warm soft-shell taco with sour cream, fresh jalapenos and grated mature cheddar…what could be better?
3.5kg beef brisket (I would suggest you ask your butcher to remove the bone but ask him to include it as the bone imparts incredible flavour into the sauce)
4 red onions, peeled and sliced into rounds
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 celery spears, finely chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled but cloves left whole
10 thyme sprigs
2 T NoMU All purpose rub
1 T ground cumin
2 T ground coriander
2 T smoked Paprika
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
2 T crushed chilli flakes
2x 400g tinned tomatoes (I used one of the 800g tins from Woolworths)
500ml beef stock
generous seasoning of salt & pepper
grated mature cheddar
fresh jalapeno, sliced
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- Place the brisket and all the vegetables in a large roasting tray.
- Add the thyme, rub, spices and pour over the tomatoes and beef stock. Season with salt & pepper and cover with a lid or foil.
- Place in the oven and braise/roast for an hour at 200°c. After an hour, turn the heat down to 160°c. Allow to roast for 6 hours until the beef is succulent and tender. Keep checking it at hourly intervals to make sure it hasn’t cooked dry and add beef stock if necessary.
- When the meat is cooked, remove from the oven and shred the meat. Discard the fat and bones. Turn the heat back up to 200°c.
- With a potato masher, mash the vegetables in the sauce roughly to break up any large chunks and place the shredded meat back into the sauce.
- Place the roasting dish back into the oven and allow to cook for another hour.
- To serve, place bowls of cheddar, jalapenos and sour cream on a table with the beef chili and lots of serviettes and ice cold beers and allow everyone to help themselves.