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Playing Red Eye Brisket


  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, a palmful
  • 1 4- to 5-pound flat beef brisket, point split and trimmed, at room temp
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/3 palmful
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 15-ounce can diced or stewed tomatoes
For the Instant Pickled Onions:
  • For the Instant Pickled Onions:
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
For serving:
  • For serving: Warm onion or brioche rolls, or charred tortillas


Serves: 8-10


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add a tablespoon of oil. Season meat well and brown in hot oil in 2 batches, adding more oil as necessary.

In a saucepan, heat ancho chilies in stock and simmer to soften. Pure in a food processor and reserve.

Add a little more oil to the Dutch oven and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and spices; stir to combine and cook partially covered to soften, 6-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir 1 minute; add wine and reduce by half. Add coffee, chili pure, honey, tomatoes and reserved beef. Bring to a simmer, cover and slow cook 2-2 1/2 hours until very tender.

Shred meat and return to sauce; let cool and skim fat. Reheat beef over low heat while you prepare the pickled onions.

Combine the lime juice with honey or sugar, salt and coriander. Toss with onions, season with pepper. Let stand 1 hour.

Serve meat with bread or tortillas, lots of pickled onions and a few sprigs of green.