These Brisket Tacos are the ultimate Tex-Mex tacos, with beef brisket that is slow cooked and served on tortillas with cheese and sautéed onions and peppers. Then serve the pan juices for dipping alongside the tacos. These tacos are simply unforgettable!
I usually am all about the easy, fast recipes. But sometimes, the extra time and effort are totally worth it.
Like with these Brisket Tacos.
These tacos are worth every second of effort that goes into them.
And the recipe may look a little daunting, but really, it’s quite easy. The hands on time isn’t too crazy – it just is one of those recipes that takes a little bit of time.
I think the thing that sets these tacos apart from others, besides the amazingly flavorful brisket, is that you make a “gravy” from the cooking liquid, and you serve that on the side to dip your tacos in. So kind of like a French Dip sandwich, but with tacos instead of the sandwich. I think this may be a lot more well known today with the explosion in the popularity of birria tacos, but when I first started making these tacos almost 10 years ago, I had never heard of it.
But really – these tacos are so good. A definite favorite!
Ingredients for the Brisket
- Brisket: There are usually 2 different ways you’ll find brisket at the grocery store. As a whole brisket, or as the flat cut or point cut. You’ll want the flat cut, which is usually around 3-5 pounds. The point cut should work, as well, but you definitely do not need a whole brisket. (Note that in my photos, I ended up buying 2 smaller flat cuts which equaled about 5 pounds total. It was too much, and I had a lot of leftover meat. You’ll want to aim for 3-4 pounds for 6 servings.)
- Salt and Pepper: Make sure and season well before browning the meat.
- Oil: You want an oil with a high smoke point since you are using this to brown the meat. I used vegetable oil, but avocado oil would work well.
- Onion: Just cut the onion into wedges – it is just to flavor the broth and the meat.
- Garlic: The garlic just need to be put in whole or smashed. No need to mince.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Substitutions could be balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or sherry vinegar.
- Beef Broth: Beef stock would work, as well.
- Cumin: Make sure your spice is fresh for the most flavor.
- Jalapenos: These add just the smallest amount of heat to the broth. I remove the seeds, but you can keep them in for more heat.
- Cilantro: Again, this is just for flavor, so no need to chop.
- Bay Leaf: I use dry because I have them on hand- fresh would work if you have them.
How to Make the Brisket
1: Start by seasoning your brisket with salt and pepper and then brown in in a pot with the oil. I have an oval shaped Dutch oven that worked perfectly for this recipe.
2: Remove the meat and add the onions and cook until soft, then add the garlic.
3: Stir in the vinegar and scrape up all of the good flavor from the bottom of the pan. I use a wooden spoon with a flat edge.
4: Add in the cumin, jalapenos, cilantro, and bay leaf.
5: Place the brisket on top, fat side up.
6: Pour in the beef broth, put the lid on the pan, and transfer to a 250ºF oven for 5-6 hours to cook.
Ingredients for the Tacos
- Poblano Chiles: Most grocery stores these days carry poblano chiles. You could use bell peppers, although they will be more mild. Anaheim peppers could be use, as well.
- Oil: I use vegetable oil.
- Onion: The recipe only calls for one onion, but my husband and I love the onions and peppers and so I will often use 2 onions.
- Cheese: Monterey Jack cheese is best here, but any mild, melting cheese will work.
- Tortillas: I like to use homemade flour tortillas, but store bought can be used.
How to Make the Tacos
1: Roast your peppers. I like to do this under the broiler, then once the peppers are blistered, place them in a bowl and put plastic wrap over the top. This makes them easy to peel.
2: Slice your onion, and cook in the oil until softened.
3: Add your roasted peppers and cook for another minute or two.
4: Take your brisket and shred it with 2 forks.
5: Place a few of the tortillas on a baking sheet and top with cheese. Place the sheet under the broiler until the cheese melts.
6: Remove from the oven and top with some of the brisket, onions and chiles. Serve the warm!
Tips and Tricks
STORE: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like to save the liquid, as well, and add more liquid to the brisket when reheating to keep it from drying out.
LEFTOVERS: If you have brisket leftover, you can change things up and make burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas.
FREEZE: Any leftover brisket can be frozen. Let it cool completely before placing in a freezer safe container or freezer bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
Looking for more free recipes?
These Brisket Tacos are the ultimate Tex-Mex tacos, with beef brisket that is slow cooked and served on tortillas with cheese and sautéed onions and peppers. Then serve the pan juices for dipping alongside the tacos.
- 3–4 lb brisket from the flat cut
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into large wedges
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
- 2 cups (16 oz) beef broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 jalapeños, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 stems of cilantro
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 12 6-inch flour tortillas (homemade or store bought)
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
- Season all sides of the brisket with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large oven-safe pot. Add the brisket and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the brisket from the pot.
- Add the onion to the pot and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook another 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, and add the vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan as you pour to remove all of the pan drippings.
Add the cumin, jalapeños, cilantro, and bay leaf. Add the brisket back into the pot, fat side up, (along with any accumulated juices), fat side up. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 5-6 hours (or 1 1/2 hours per pound) until the meat is fork tender.
- Remove the pot from the oven, take off the lid, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- While the brisket is resting, turn the oven to broil. Place the peppers on a baking sheet (I like to cover mine with foil first for easy clean up) and place in the oven. Let the peppers cook, turning every 5 minutes, until the peels are charred. It’s ok if there is some green left, but you want them mostly charred so that the skins will be easier to remove. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
- When the chiles are charred on all sides, transfer them to a heat proof bowl and top the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the pepper sit until they are cool enough to handle. (The plastic wrap will help them to steam, which makes it easier to remove the peels.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off. If a few patches remain, that is ok, but you want the majority of the skin gone.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut the peppers open. Discard the stems and the seeds. Cut the peppers into strips. Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper strips and cook another minute then remove from the heat.
- Once the brisket has rested, remove it from the pot and cut off the fat. Shred the meat with 2 forks.
- Strain the remaining cooking liquid and discard the fat. Add 2 tablespoons of the liquid to the brisket and reserve the rest for serving. Add more salt and pepper to the brisket, if needed.
- Heat the broiler. Place 3-6 tortillas on a baking sheet (however many you can fit without overlapping) and top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Fill the tortillas with the shredded meat and the onions and peppers. Serve with the reserved liquid for dipping.
Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 587
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 1214 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 9 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 56 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 33 g
- Cholesterol: 75 mg
Keywords: brisket tacos, brisket taco recipe