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This is a very versatile recipe that can be served warm or chilled. I have used this for many catering jobs and always have requests for the recipe.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 20 mins
15 servings


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 (3 pound) beef brisket, trimmed

  • 2 (12 ounce) cans tomato paste

  • water to cover

  • 1 onion, halved

  • 1 large carrot, quartered

  • 1 stalk celery, quartered

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 4 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • cup apple cider vinegar

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 1 large tomato, chopped

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 (12 ounce) package warm corn tortillas, or as needed

  • ½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

  2. Sprinkle kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper over the fatty side of brisket. Spread tomato paste over entire brisket. Place brisket, fat-side up, in a heavy pot; pour in enough water to cover brisket. Add halved onion, carrot, celery, 1/2 of the cilantro, and garlic to the pot. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover pot with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer to oven.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until brisket is very tender, about 6 hours.

  4. Blend chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a a food processor until finely chopped. Add vinegar to peppers and continue processing; drizzle olive oil into mixture until smooth.

  5. Remove brisket from liquid and cool slightly. Slice meat across the grain into 2-inch slices; shred thoroughly with a fork.

  6. Combine shredded meat, chopped onion, tomato, remaining cilantro, and pepper mixture in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Serve meat mixture with corn tortillas and top meat with Monterey Jack cheese.

Cook's Notes:

This can also be served chilled. Cut Monterey Jack cheese into 1/4-inch cubes to serve. To serve chilled as a salad: let marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired, toss with cheese cubes. Serve in a decorative bowl and garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas.

For a milder version of this recipe, remove about half of the chopped peppers from the food processor bowl – after adding oil and vinegar, then add back chopped peppers, a teaspoon at a time, to desired level of spiciness.

I reserve the liquid left in the pot after cooking the brisket. Chill and remove fat and use in place of the water in the Spanish Rice II recipe on

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of remaining liquid in pot. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

324 Calories
18g Fat
23g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 324
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 653mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 15mg 75%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 729mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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