Texas Beef Brisket New Mexico-Style

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Okay, okay, we borrowed a Texas technique and changed the rub to reflect our chilehead tastes.


Brisket, Lemon Juice, New Mexico Chile Powder, Cayenne, Brisket Basting Sauce


Okay, okay, we borrowed a Texas technique and changed the rub to reflect our chilehead tastes. For years we have been perfecting recipes using a smoker known as an Oklahoma Joe’s. It is a horizontal, cylindrical smoker about three and a half feet long and about fourteen inches in diameter. It has an attached, dropped fire box that allows smoking with fairly cool smoke because the fire is separated a bit from the smoking area. Because smoking is so time consuming, it makes sense to smoke several things at once. In addition to brisket, we also smoke a turkey breast. Some cooks use the basting sauce as a mop during the smoking process and eliminate the long marinade at the end of smoking. Leftovers, if there are any, make the best barbecue sandwiches when served on a crusty hard roll with your choice of sauce from chapter 3.

  • 1 9 to 10 pound brisket (“packer trimmed” preferred)

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • 2 cups mild red New Mexican chile powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne chile

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

  • Brisket Basting Sauce (recipe below)

Thoroughly coat all surfaces of the brisket with lemon juice, and rub in well. Combine the chile powder, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl, and sprinkle generously all over the brisket, rubbing it in well. Make sure that the brisket is entirely covered. Allow to marinate for at least an hour before smoking.

To smoke the brisket, build a hardwood fire in the fire box using pecan, oak, or any fruit wood. When the fire is smoking nicely, place the brisket on the rack fat side up, to let gravity and nature do the basting. Place the breast as far from the heat source as possible, and close the smoker. During the smoking, do nothing to the brisket. The smoking will take approximately 8 hours at 200 degrees smoke temperature. This means a lot of beer will be consumed while you wait and tend the fire.

After the brisket has finished smoking, remove it from the smoker, slather it generously with Brisket Basting Sauce, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, and return it to the smoker. Close off all of the air supplies to the fire, and allow the meat to “set” in the pit for about 2 hours.

Yield: A 10-pound brisket will yield about 10 to 20 servings, depending on the individual brisket and the size of the appetites of the guests.

Heat Scale: Medium

Spiced Coconut Beef (Rendang)

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In Indonesia, this is the preferred method of cooking water buffalo, a fairly tough meat. Since they are scarce in Amsterdam, this recipe from Indrapura Restaurant features beef. It is served over rice. The chef at Indrapura notes: “Use mature coconuts. Taste before you add salt during the cooking.” To make coconut milk from scratch, grate the coconut and soak the flesh in hot water.


For the Spice Paste:

  • 20 shallots, peeled and chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 small fresh piece of ginger, peeled

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 7 fresh red chiles, such as jalapeño, seeds and stems removed, chopped

  • Small amount of water, if needed

For the Rendang:

  • 3 pound chuck steak, cut into1-inch cubes

  • 8 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)

  • 2 lemon grass stalks, bruised

  • 1 whole tamarind pod


In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients for the spice paste and puree until smooth.

Place the beef and spice paste in a wok over high heat and saute for five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Stirring continuously, bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the coconut milk has thickened.

Turn the heat down to low and cook until the oil comes out of what is left of the gravy, and stir continuously. Let the meat and spices fry in the oil until the color is deep, dark brown still stirring. The length of cooking process should be around 4 hours. Remove the lemon grass stalks and the tamarind pod before serving.

Texas-Style Beef Brisket

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This easy, basic recipe uses the combination of a rub and a sauce to create the taste of a traditional barbecue for those who don’t have a pit or a smoker.


  • 1 4 to 6-pound beef brisket
  • 1 jar barbecue rub
  • 2 to 3 cups barbecue sauce


Trim the fat on the brisket to 1/4-inch. Rub the barbecue rub evenly and thickly over the brisket. After coating, wrap in plastic or seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Light the grill.

Place the brisket, fat side up, in a disposable aluminum pan or on a large piece of foil. Add ½ cup of water and cover tightly with another piece of foil. Place the pan in the center of the grill over a very slow fire of briquettes.

Cover the cooker and cook for 5 hours, turning the brisket every 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Pour off the fat in the pan as it accumulates and add water, ½ cup at a time, as needed.

Remove the brisket and reserve the remaining pan juices. Place the meat directly on the grill.

Combine the drippings with the barbecue sauce and brush over the brisket. Replace the cover on the cooker and cook for 1 additional hour, basting occasionally with the sauce. Simmer the remaining sauce mixture 10 to 15 minutes.

Slice the brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices and serve with the sauce.

Machaca Shredded Beef

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This recipe can be stuffed in enchilads, tacos, sopalillas.


  • 3-pound arm roast

  • Water

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped green chile

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Place the roast in a large pan with water to cover and simmer until tender and the meat begins to fall apart, about 3 to 4 hours. Remove the roast from the pan, remove the fat and bone, and shred the meat by hand or with a fork.

Return the meat to the pan, add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed by the meat, about 30 minutes.

Sichuan Beef with Hot Sauce

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The most important thing to remember in preparing this classic Sichuanese recipe is that the beef should be stir-fried until it is dry and crispy, but not burned. Use the shredding blade of a food processor to cut the celery and carrot. Serve over steamed rice.


For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth or white wine

8 ounces flank steak, cut with the grain into 2-inch long julienne strips

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot bean sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet bean sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan Chile Sauce (see recipe above)

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 white part of green onion, minced
  • 1 large celery rib, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded

2 green New Mexico or poblano chiles, roasted peeled, seeds and stems removed, cut into julienne strips


Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, stir well, and add the beef. Toss the beef in the marinade and let sit, covered, for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well.

Heat a wok over high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil. Just when it begins to smoke, add the beef and stir-fry until the beef is browned to the point of being crispy. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.

Add the remaining peanut oil, heat, and add the ginger, garlic, onion and stir for 15 seconds. Then add the celery, carrot, and chile. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the beef. Stir briefly to mix the beef with the vegetables, add the sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute. Adjust the heat with more Sichuan Chile Sauce.