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Red Eye Brisket

Red Eye Brisket


  • 1 flat beef brisket, point split and trimmed (4-5 pounds), at room temperature

  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper

  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil, divided

  • 3 ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded

  • 3 cups beef stock

  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon coriander (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika or smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon allspice (1/3 palmful)

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 2 cups strong brewed coffee

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (15 ounces)

For the instant pickled onions:

  • Juice of 3 limes

  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced

  • Warm onion or brioche rolls or charred tortillas

  • Cress, cilantro or parsley, for garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add a tablespoon of oil. Season the meat well and brown in the hot oil in two batches, adding more oil as necessary. In a saucepan, heat the ancho chili peppers in the stock and simmer to soften. Puree in a food processor and reserve. Add a little more oil to the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, garlic, salt, pepper and spices; stir to combine and cook partially covered to soften, 6-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute; add the wine and reduce by half. Add the coffee, chili puree, honey, tomatoes and reserved beef. Bring to a simmer; cover and slow-cook for 2-2 1/2 hours, until very tender. Shred the meat and return to the sauce; let cool and skim the fat. Reheat the beef over low heat while you prepare the pickled onions. Combine the lime juice with honey or sugar, salt and coriander. Toss with the onions, season with pepper. Let stand for 1 hour. Serve meat with the bread or tortillas, lots of pickled onions and a few sprigs of green.