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Machaca Brisket Beef and Pulled Pork Tacos

Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
edited May 2013 in EggHead Forum
Hey Everyone,
My son turned two this past week so we had a bunch of family and friends over to celebrate on Saturday.  I decided that I've done enough traditional BBQs for everyone so I decided to do a taco bar this time.  I went with my usual pork butt for pulled pork tacos (35 pounds of it) and mixed it up with doing pulled beef brisket (about 23 pounds).  I found a really interesting pulled brisket recipe for tacos called Machaca beef and gave that a try.  Basically you rub down the brisket with coffee, ancho chile powder, and salt, then sear it on the grill and then braise it for four hours at 300 degrees in red wine.  The braising liquid also has coffee, cinnamon, onions, garlic, ancho chile pods and more salt in it.  You pull the beef when you are done, strain the liquid to make a nice sauce and add it back to the meat.  Needless to say it came out great.  I made a whole bunch of homemade sides, cilantro coleslaw, corn relish, pico de gallo, guacamole to compliment.  

Machaca beef is amazing for tacos, I highly reccomend it.  I would have down the whole thing on the egg, but as you can see from the pics I had 4 pork butts on my XL.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I wish the XL was bigger.  Back on top, here is the recipe for the machaca tacos.

Braised beef brisket (machaca)

  • 5 lb piece beef brisket
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 20 oz tomato juice
  • 1/4 cups lime juice
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic
  • 2 tbl black pepper
  • 4 tbl ancho powder or 2 whole chiles
  • 1 tbl cinnamon
  • ½ cup coffee, ground (Guatemalan bean preferred)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Spanish onion, rough cut

Season brisket with coffee, ancho powder and salt. Grill-sear beef to caramelize. Cut beef into similar size pieces (3) and put in large braising pan with all remaining ingredients. Add enough water to cover brisket. Cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 3-4 hours. Discard whole onions and bay leaves. Remove brisket from liquid and pull all meat. Reserve liquid to reheat.

Now onto the pics.

Thanks,

MP

Comments

  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 893
    Nice job, it looks really good. Happy birthday to your son
    Greensboro, NC
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,578
    Wow- great work!  The recipe sounds great and the finished tacos look amazing.  Happy birthday to your sous chef mud piglet...he's a cute little guy! 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    Thanks, surprisingly he did pretty well with all the party goers over.  He's been a bit shy lately around people.  As for the cook itself, the brisket was outstanding and pork butt never dissapoints.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,240
    Dude, you were a cooking machine! Great cook. And thanks for the recipe. Yet another bookmark added.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,293
    Looks awesome. I turn 33 in Dec. Tacos are fine. Thanks in advance. 
    I'll bring the party hats and streamers.
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,924
    Looks great.  You obviously had high quality assistance shopping at the store.  Nicely done!!
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,732
    Awesome cook man!

    How many people did y'all feed at this feast? 50 odd pounds of meat!


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    Awesome cook man! How many people did y'all feed at this feast? 50 odd pounds of meat!
    I was planning on 45 people, with a 30% loss in weight of the pork butts, and I assumed the same for the brisket I ended up with 40 pounds of cooked meat.  My friends and family can do some serious damage when presented with BBQ, but I definitely had a mountain of leftovers.  Thankfully I have a couple of buddies who always bring tupperware with them when they come over for one of my bbqs.  I consider them my cleaning crew, since they always stay and help clean up.  I always let them take as many leftovers as they can carry for helping out.  They should be eating tacos all week considering how much they took.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,500
    Was the brisket a flat? Looks great.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    henapple said:
    Was the brisket a flat? Looks great.
    Yes, I bought four 5 pound flats.  Generally I would go with whole brisket if I was smoking them, but since this recipe called for braising there was no need to get a whole brisket.  The flats pulled nicely after a four hour ride in the red wine liquor.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,211
    Niiiice cook Mud!! The machaca beef definitely has my interest!

  • WylecyotWylecyot Posts: 79
    Great Job!  I've been wanting to try Machaca.  Looks like it's going to be on the menu this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    Wylecyot said:
    Great Job!  I've been wanting to try Machaca.  Looks like it's going to be on the menu this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing!
    One quick note on the recipe, you should add a fair amount of water to the braising liquid.  If your pan is too small to add water then cut the salt in half.  The added water ensures that it won't be overly salty, so you need to make adjustments if you can't add it.
  • chris123stockchris123stock Posts: 664
    Very nice cook. That looks Awsome  =D>
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    edited May 2013
    Wow! Where do you get Machaca beef? What great cook. Love that cream corn, we do that often.
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    Plano_JJ said:
    Wow! Where do you get Machaca beef? What great cook. Love that cream corn, we do that often.
    I used beef brisket flats, i'm sure you could use a chuck roast as well.  The braising breaks it down and makes for great pulled beef.
  • SeeingSpotsSeeingSpots Posts: 147
    edited May 2013
    This recipe sounds and looks so good, I'm making it tonight for service tomorrow.  I have one question for the OP and all others with an OP-inion   ;)  :

    Since it is primarily a braising method, the only chance the meat has to pick up some smokiness is during the sear (because its foiled after that).  How might I go about adding some more smoke flavor to the meat?  Or, is the sear going to give it enough smoke and I just need to trust that it will?

    TIA!
    Flowery Branch, GA  LBGE
  • bbqlearnerbbqlearner Posts: 596
    Nice going!!! Looks good.

    Houston, TX - Buddy LBGE, Don SBGE, Tiny Mini & Shiny Momma Pitts n Spitts

  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    This recipe sounds and looks so good, I'm making it tonight for service tomorrow.  I have one question for the OP and all others with an OP-inion   ;)  :

    Since it is primarily a braising method, the only chance the meat has to pick up some smokiness is during the sear (because its foiled after that).  How might I go about adding some more smoke flavor to the meat?  Or, is the sear going to give it enough smoke and I just need to trust that it will?

    TIA!
    Here's how I'd go about getting more smoke flavor into it (I would have done this if I didn't have 4 pork butts on my BGE that morning).  I would smoke it for at least a couple of hours at 250 degrees, just like you would normally if you were smoking the brisket for the full cook.  You want to get the start of a nice bark on the meat, then put it in the braising liguid.  I'll be doing this the next time I do machaca beef.
  • SeeingSpotsSeeingSpots Posts: 147
    That's exactly what I'll do.   Thanks Mud Pig!
    Flowery Branch, GA  LBGE
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450

    That's exactly what I'll do.   Thanks Mud Pig!

    Good luck, let me know how it turns out. Remember to put at least a half gallon of water in the braising liquid. You don't want it to salty.
  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 198
    I'm making this today. I have been on a quest for good machaca... childhood memories of this taco stand in the mall... So good. This recipe looks promising. I got a 12.5 lb packer brisket and I am going to take off the point just for burnt ends and use the flat for this recipe. 
  • WylecyotWylecyot Posts: 79
    Macahca...not your typical Memorial Day bbq, but dang it turned out well!

    Thanks to Mud Pig for the recipe and tips!  I followed his suggestion of smoking the brisket for two hours at 250 degrees rather than sear.  I went with a 3 1/2 pound flat and followed Mud Pig's recipe with the only exception of scaling way back on the salt.  The results were amazing!

    Sorry, no pictures of the final product on the plate.  It's going to be a meal later in the week.


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  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 198
    I made this as well. I could only find massive briskets, so I cut 5 lbs of flat off a 12.5 lb brisket for this cook.

    I also smoked the brisket for a while before the braising step. I like a lot of smoke flavor, so I had the brisket on at about 250F for 4-5 hours. I sampled it, of course, and was really happy with the flavor of the simple coffee/chili/salt rub.

    The final product is very tasty. However, if I make it again, I will cut back the amount of vinegar. I like vinegar more than most people but I thought that the recipe used about twice as much as it really needed. I wanted to reduce the sauce to concentrate the garlic and tomato flavors more, but worried that they'd get totally lost in the vinegar.

    Oh, the amounts of chili, salt, and coffee called for will give you WAY more than you need to dry rub a 5 lb brisket. If you don't want leftover rub I would cut it in half.

    Thanks Mud Pig!
  • Mud PigMud Pig Posts: 450
    Glad you guys enjoyed it and my smoking suggestion worked. I can't wait to add that step next time I do this recipe.
  • one thought- you could do the braise uncovered like the Travis Method for a good portion of the cook. People seem to say they get great smokiness and even a good bark on the top. Might be a nice touch

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