Friday, July 06, 2012

A different kind of brisket

It certainly is a good thing I sent in banana bread this week.  Because my child?  Well, lets just say that he's been less than loveable lately.

Yesterday when I dropped him off at daycare he was sitting in his little "coffee clatch" with his friends as I put away his things.  As I put my shoes back on, about to leave, I watched him pick up a toy block, and throw it at one of his friends.  Whose child is this?  They moved him away from her and told him to be gentle as I cautioned him that if he wasn't nice to his friends, they wouldn't be his friends anymore.

When I went to pick him up, I got the standard report - "Thatbaby is such a happy baby!  He's always in such a good mood." 

"Oh good, does that mean he stopped throwing blocks at the other children?"

"He didn't throw any blocks - his new things is pulling hair.  He thinks it's hysterical.  And when we move him away he reaches for more - laughing."

When did my sweet little boy, who tried to cheer up his daycare girlfriend when she was crying turn into this little monster?

Thankfully dinners have not been as difficult as Thatbaby.  I'm really trying to utilize my crockpot more so that at least one thing is easy in my life.  Coming home and having dinner ready to go is one less thing I need to worry about.  We can get eating, Thatbaby can get to bed, and Thatboy and I can have some time to discuss the day.

It definitely helps that crockpot dinners can be just as delicious as those that you slave away all day making.  Which is understandable, since the food is cooking all day.  Meat becomes so tender it falls apart when you wave a fork over it.  I've never made brisket in the crockpot, but it's the perfect meat for it, something that deserves to be cooked low and slow.

When I have made brisket, it's fallen into one of two categories, a brisket roasted with onions, potatoes, and carrots from my Jewish heritage, or the corned beef variety from Thatboy's Irish heritage.  This one is a bit different.  It belongs to neither of us.  But since it encompasses some of our favorite flavors, it will quickly become ours.

Southwestern Pulled Brisket (From Lemons and Love)
3 pounds beef brisket
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
2 chipotle chiles en adobo
 2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons molasses

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on both sides (10 minutes total)
  2. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
  3. Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  4. Add vinegar and boil until it's almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  5. Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket. 
  6. Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. 
  7. Cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 hours.
  8. Shred the meat with 2 forks and stir it evenly into the sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  9. Remove and discard bay leaves. Pile the meat on tortillas and serve.


  1. I love coming home to a house that smells great and has a meal done in the crock pot. Kids are never know what they are going to do next.

  2. It is only a phase for Thatbaby. He is discovering his little world. As for the crockpot, with a little baby around this is a stroke of genius!

  3. I always say that I am going to use my crock-pot more often. When I use it, it never fails me. This brisket looks delicious. I have always made brisket the Jewish heritage way too. I like this new version.

  4. Hopefully this is only a phase! And he'll move on to holding hands next. :)

  5. This really looks so delicious!