Although I currently live in Decatur Georgia, I have spent the majority of my adulthood so far in Jacksonville Florida. Anyone from Jacksonville knows one of the best spots for Baja Mexican (especially fish tacos and bang bang shrimp quesadilla’s) is Taco Lu.
I used to live and work just down the street and it was the popular destination for many date nights, dinners with family and friends, lunches with co-workers, going away parties, bridal shower lunches, etc…you name it, we probably did it at Taco Lu.
One of my favorite tacos combines skirt steak, brie cheese and grape salsa and when we first moved here I craved it so much as there’s just nothing else like it. After a few weeks the craving just wouldn’t go away so I decided I would try to create my own version. Spoiler alert: it was a delicious success.
The below recipe is inspired by Taco Lu’s Carne Royale Taco but it has my own twist to it. While they use skirt steak marinated in soy sauce and lime juice, I use brisket seasoned and then cooked with onions and peppers for a more “spiced” flavor. (I say spiced as it incorporates traditional Mexican spices and the peppers add their own spice flavor, but it’s definitely not spicy. If you prefer a spicier recipe you can substitute the mild peppers for hotter ones).
The meat is very flavorful, tender and juicy, the brie cheese adds a creamy richness and the grape salsa is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy to tie everything together.
For the brisket you will need a 2-4 pound brisket, 2 limes, 2 poblano peppers (you can substitute these for spicier peppers if you want a spicy brisket. Poblano peppers are very mild and leave a great flavor without the spicy kick), 1 large white onion, minced garlic, 1 cup beef broth, a few strands of cilantro, oregano, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper. You will also need vegetable or olive oil if you plan to sear the brisket.
Searing does add an extra step and another pot to clean, but it also seals in the juices to create an even richer and meatier flavor. If you have the extra time I highly recommend you do it, however I know we’re all busy and have a lot on our plates and can attest that this recipe is still delicious even if you skip this step.
Generously salt and pepper the brisket on all sides. Then put a skillet over med-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the pan and oil is hot, brown the brisket for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Place brisket into the slow cooker. You don’t want to trim the fat off and you want to leave the fatty side up so it continually seeps into the meat while it’s cooking making it even more flavorful.
Pour in the beef broth. You want to make sure it completely covers the bottom by at least half an inch to keep the meat moist while it cooks. So if 1 cup isn’t enough, just add more.
In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of the 2 limes, add 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. Stir everything together and then pour over the brisket.
Cut up the onion into large chunks and place on and around the brisket. Then add in the cilantro and the poblano peppers.
Close the lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
You’ll probably be tempted to open the lid and check on it while it’s cooking, but don’t do it! You’ll let out the heat and the steam and have to cook it longer.
Once it’s done, remove the onions/cilantro/peppers and take the brisket out of the crock pot, scrape off the fatty layer and then shred. It’s so tender and juicy it will just fall apart at the touch of the fork.
While the brisket is cooking, go ahead and make the grape salsa.
For this you will need 1.5 cups red grapes, 1.5 cups green grapes, 1 jalapeno, 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 lime.
Cut the grapes in half, remove seeds and finely dice the jalapeno, and squeeze the lime juice into a small bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to mix together.
The brisket and grape salsa are delicious on their own and form a complete paleo meal. You could stop right now and just eat these as is, but if your tacos aren’t complete without bread and cheese, then boy do I have a recommendation for you.
Use the large flour tortillas (I recommend the size large enough for a burrito) and then thinly slice some brie cheese and lay it down in a straight line in the center of the tortilla. Microwave until tortilla is warmed and brie is slightly melty. Then pile on the brisket and top with grape salsa. Roll it all up and let your taste buds enjoy one of the best burritos they will ever feast on.
Crock-Pot Mexican Brisket 2-4 pound brisket 2 limes, 2 poblano peppers (you can substitute these for spicier peppers if you want a spicier brisket) 1 large white onion 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 cup beef broth A few strands of cilantro 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon cumin salt and pepper 1 tablespoon oil 1. Generously salt and pepper the brisket on all sides 2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and heat over med-high heat 3. Sear, or brown, the brisket for 4-5 minutes on each side 4. Place the brisket in the Crock-Pot with the fatty side up. 5. Pour in the beef broth so it covers the bottom by 1/2 an inch 6. In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of the 2 limes, add the cumin, chili powder, oregano and minced garlic. Stir together and pour over brisket 7. Cut the onion into large chunks and place on and around the brisket 8. Add cilantro and poblano peppers on top 9. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 10. Once cooked, scrape off the fat and then shred with a fork
Grape Salsa 1.5 cups red grapes 1.5 cups green grapes 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons olive oil Juice from 1 lime 1. Cup grapes in half and add to a small bowl 2. Add in all remaining ingredients and stir 3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
Brisket, Brie and Grape Salsa Tacos Large Flour Tortillas Brie Cheese Mexican Brisket Grape Salsa 1. Thinly slice some brie cheese and lay it down in a straight line in the center of the tortilla 2. Microwave until tortilla is warmed and brie is slightly melty 3. Pile on the brisket and top with grape salsa