General verdict: tasty!

Specific verdict: Uncle Pasto and I need a bit more learning on how to control a smoker fire. No no no — nothing bad happened. We were using the charcoal from the bottom of the bag, and it seems the smaller pieces burn hotter than the larger ones. We had a hard time getting the fire under 275F, which meant that the brisket cooked too quickly and was still a bit chewy when it was done.

How do you troubleshoot chewy brisket? You apply moist heat. Which meant that the leftovers (’cause like I said, it was tasty, just chewy) got turned into caldillo. I have no pictures for you today, but here’s the general deal. This is a great way to use up leftovers.

Smoked Brisket Caldillo

  • leftover brisket (other large roast leftovers work well for this too)
  • canned tomatoes (I used 32 oz — use whatever seems to be the right amount to make stew with)
  • leftover salsa
  • 2-3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, as you like, minced
  • cumin and Mexican oregano to taste
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optionally, you can addc ooked beans (though that’s not very Texan) and veggies to bulk it out. I opted for red beans and pattypan squash, as we’re long on squash from the garden.

Saute the onion in the olive oil. Add the garlic and chiles and cook lightly. Chop the brisket, removing as much fat as you can, and add to the pot. Add tomatoes, salsa, and spices, and simmer until the brisket is nice and tender. Add the beans and vegetables if desired, and simmer until the beans have soaked up the flavor of the stew and the veggies are tender.

Serve with chunks of ripe avocado, or sour cream, and any leftover homemade biscuits you might have. (: