So I had this crazy idea to smoke an 18 pound brisket and make 3 drastically different dishes. I started with a Costco Prime packer, trimmed off around 3 pounds of fat including all of the fat around the point. I injected it with Better Than Bullion Beef Base mixture and went simple SPG (Salt, Pepper, Garlic) 50/50 salt/pepper and 1/4 granulated garlic and let my Yoder Smokers YS640s work! 225 for 12 hours on the top rack, placed in an aluminum tray with a rack to keep it off the bottom with the juices. I used a sheet of parchment paper so the foil was directly on the brisket and let it run until probe tender which was around 208. 18 hour total cook time and then a 2 hour rest before I sliced.
This brisket was incredibly juicy and the bark was perfect!
#1 Traditional Texas Style Brisket
That night we ate, I should say devoured, slices from the flat and some cubed point. My family loves daddy's BBQ and brisket is their 2nd favorite smoked meat, over taking their all time favorite pork belly burnt ends will be near impossible.....I'll keep trying though.
I saved the middle section for the next meal, which is a 1st for me.
#2 Brisket Birria Tacos
The 1st thing I did was dice up 1 yellow onion and then cube up the brisket I made the night before into about 1.5" inch cubes and put that into a pot on medium heat. Then I took 4 ancho and 2 guajillo peppers, removed the seeds, and toasted them in a hot pan to open up the flavors before adding water to soften them up. I simmered them for about 8 minutes or so until they were soft. From there I added them to a food processor along with 6 cloves of garlic and made a paste. I added that past to the pot with the brisket and the onions along with:
32 oz bone broth
2 bay leaves
Tsp Mexican oregano
Tsp white pepper
Tsp ginger (I left out, not big ginger fans)
Tsp ancho flakes (I couldn't find any)
1 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
Here's what it looks like when everything is in
I let this baby simmer for 8 hours uncovered and it looked like this:
This makes you hungry all day because the entire house smells amazing!! I kept skimming off the fat that came to the surface and saved it for the cooking process that followed. From here I used strainer to get separate the brisket and the same for the consume. The next step is to get the griddle (hot medium high heat).
I used these La Tortilla Factory homemade style tortilla and let me tell you, if you haven't tried these....you are absolutely missing out! For a mass produced, store bought tortilla, these are crazy good!
And now we make Birria tacos!
Remember I said I skimmed the fat and saved it? Well this is where you use it! I used a ramekin and put it on the griddle so it stayed hot and put a spoon full of it on the griddle and then added the tortilla. From there I added the brisket with a spoon full of the consume and a handful of cheese. Serve with a small bowl of the consume and dip with every bite. Let me tell you, these birria tacos are insanely good....I mean insanely good! My wife was blown away and we had these 2 more times LOL.
#3 Cuban Vaca Frita
Vaca Frita is one of my all time favorite dishes! There was this Cuban restaurant that we used to go to for years and no matter what I always ordered the Vaca Frita which translates to fried beef. If you like garlic, lime, onions, and beef this dish will knock your socks off!
I went full Cuban cuisine here making Cuban white rice, Cuban black beans, and of course Smoked Brisket Birria Vaca Frita. I'm fairly certain, my wife and I are the only ones on the planet to have tasted these flavor combinations. Think about it, Texas style 18 hour smoked brisket that was turned into Birria and then converted into Vaca Frita....
I made a marinade if you will with
6 cloves of garlic mashed into a paste
2 Limes juiced
1/4 - 1/2 cup Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 onion sliced
Add all of that to the smoked brisket birra and place into a cold pan and cook on medium heat until the beef is crispy.
My wife likes all of her food separate and not touching lol, but I like it all mixed together.
I'll end with this....1 brisket put out 3 amazing dishes that I don't even know if I could beat. When I took the 1st bite of the Vaca Frita, I kid you not...I put my fork down and just took a minute. I told my wife, I out did myself and couldn't believe what I just made. We ate every last bit of it. Obviously we can't eat like this all of the time, but it was an incredible week of eating at the Malinao house that's for sure! If you have the time, I highly recommend you giving it a go!