There are days that are meant to be a celebration between you and your smoker. Long slow summer day, wood chips prepped, brisket trimmed and ready. Today was none of those things. There were unexpected downpours all day, it was humid, and work piled up. So my brand new smoker continued to sit unchristened and neglected while I pouted and came up with a plan for my brisket.
I decided to whip out my trusty slow cooker and make the best of things instead of scrapping the whole plan and making another trip to the market. I was determined to use only ingredients in the house and make something that was still finger licking worthy. Something I could still dub smokehouse seal of approval.
After licking my fingers clean, I’d say I approved.
No smoker? No problem. Make the best of a good thing with this really simple recipe for slow cooker fork tender brisket. Then you know I had to add some cheese sauce and make these all messy and fun.
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tbs adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 5 lbs beef brisket flat, trimmed
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbs cider vinegar
- 1/2 teas liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup Dubliner cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 1/2 milk
- taco shells
- coleslaw and other taco style accouterments for serving
- Combine the sugar, 2 tbs adobo sauce, cumin, paprika, 1 teas salt, and 2 teas black pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine. Using a fork, prick the brisket all over. Slather in the sugar mix and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the flavors mingle in the fridge over night.
- When ready to cook, unwrap brisket and place in slow cooker.
- In a small heatproof bowl, microwave the onions, tomato paste, garlic, oil, chili powder, and remaining 2 tbs adobo sauce in for 1 minute increments, stirring as needed, until the onion is soft. Transfer to slow cooker. Add the water and cover and cook on high for 5 to 7 hours or on low 9 to 11 hours.
- Carefully transfer brisket to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, let the braising liquid settle 5 minutes and skim any fat from the surface. Whisk in the ketchup, vinegar, and liquid smoker. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Shred the brisket with 2 forks and toss with the remaining sauce.
- Make the cheese sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, heat the milk until just simmering. Add the Velveeta and Dubliner cheese and stir to melt.
- Arrange brisket in taco shells and top with desired toppings, ending with a spoon full of cheese sauce. Sink your teeth in and enjoy.