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Fiesta Brisket

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Sissy Lamerton
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 5 hrs, 5 mins
Other time 3 hrs
Yield Makes 8 servings
The combination of ingredients like guajillo chiles, dried Mexican oregano leaves, and lime juice give this dish a Mexican flair perfect for any fiesta!

Ingredients

  • 4 guajillo chiles
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano leaves*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 (4- to 5-lb.) beef brisket flat
  • 8 cups hickory wood chips
  • 2 large limes, cut into wedges
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro sprig

How to Make It

  1. Cook chiles in a skillet over high heat 5 minutes or until fragrant, turning often. Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Place chiles in a large bowl; add 4 cups boiling water, and let stand 20 minutes. Drain.

  2. Process chiles, vinegar, next 8 ingredients, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

  3. Sprinkle pepper and remaining 2 1/4 tsp. salt over brisket. Place brisket in an extra-large zip-top plastic freezer bag or a large shallow dish. Pour chile mixture over brisket; rub brisket with chile mixture. Seal or cover, and chill 2 to 24 hours.

  4. Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes. Prepare gas grill by removing cooking grate from 1 side of grill. Close grill lid, and light side of grill without cooking grate, leaving other side unlit. Preheat grill to 250° to 300° (low) heat.

  5. Spread 4 cups soaked and drained wood chips on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Cover with another sheet of heavy-duty foil, and fold edges to seal. Poke several holes in top of pouch with a fork. Place pouch directly on lit side of grill. Cover with cooking grate.

  6. Remove brisket from marinade, discarding marinade. Place brisket, fat side up, in a 12- x 10-inch disposable foil roasting pan. Place pan on unlit side of grill; cover with grill lid.

  7. Grill brisket, maintaining internal temperature of grill between 225° and 250°, for 1 1/2 hours. Carefully tear open foil pouch with tongs, and add remaining 4 cups soaked and drained wood chips to pouch.

  8. Cover with grill lid, and grill, maintaining internal temperature of grill between 225° and 250°, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of brisket registers 165° (about 1 1/2 hours).

  9. Remove brisket from grill. Place brisket on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and pour 1/2 cup pan drippings over brisket; wrap with foil, sealing edges.

  10. Return brisket to unlit side of grill, and grill, covered with grill lid, until meat thermometer registers 195° (about 2 hours). Remove from grill, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut brisket across the grain into thin slices. Squeeze juice from limes over brisket before serving. Garnish, if desired.

  11. Note: Guajillo chiles and Mexican oregano may be found on the spice aisle of specialty grocery stores or in Mexican markets.

  12. *Dried oregano may be substituted for Mexican oregano.

  13. Oven-Roasted Fiesta Brisket: Prepare recipe as directed through Step Preheat oven to 350°. Remove brisket from marinade, discarding marinade. Wrap brisket with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place in a jelly-roll pan. Bake 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 195° and brisket is very tender. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut brisket across the grain into thin slices. Prep: 30 min., Cook: 5 min., Stand: 30 min., Chill: 2 hr., Bake: 3 hr.