Shredded Beef with Tomatoes & Chiles

Slowly simmered with tomatoes and jalapeños, this braised brisket is tender and delicious. There will be about a cup or so of the cooking liquid left over - be sure to save it as sauce for pasta or polenta. You may even want to serve this as a main course with Mashed Potatoes or Oaxaca Cheese. Buen provecho! -Chef Richard Sandoval

Photo Credit: Penny de los Santos

Photo Credit: Penny de los Santos

Shredded Beef with Tomatoes & Chiles

Makes about 4 cups


  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus more as needed
  • One 2 1/2 lb beef brisket, fat trimmed to 1/8 inch
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp mesquite flavored liquid smoke (optional)


1. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to 350°F

2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the brisket all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place it in the Dutch oven, fat-side down, and cook it, turning after 5 minutes, until it is nicely browned - 10-12 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a plate.

3. If needed, add another 1 tablespoon oil to dutch oven. Add the onion, jalapeños and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring them occasionally, until the onion is softened - about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices with the oregano and bring them to a boil. Return the brisket to the dutch oven and add enough hot water to come about three-quarters up the side of the meat. Brit it to a boil over high heat.

4. Cover the dutch oven and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the brisket is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer the brisket to a carving board, tent it with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Set the cooking liquid aside.

5. Using a sharp knife, shred the brisket with the grain. Roughly cut the shredded beef across the grain into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Skim off the fat on the surface of the cooking liquid. Stir in about 1/3 of the cooking liquid to lightly moisten the shredded beef. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and liquid smoke (if using) and mix it again. Season the beef to taste with salt and pepper. 

The beef can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat before using.