Slow cooker shredded beef tacos with mango & burrata
A surprisingly delicious combination
I've been thinking about making some slow-cooker shredded beef tacos for awhile now, so when Mission Tortillas contacted me and asked me to develop a recipe for their new tortillas, I knew the time had come. It is funny how inspirations for new recipes evolve. I used some of the seasonings and methods I used when I made my version of Saveur's Kashmiri lamb in red chile sauce. I slow cook the brisket in a mixture of dried chilies, lime, tamarind and red wine. I planned on making a mango raita to go with the tacos, but at the last minute substituted burrata cheese, sliced mango and avocado. Turns out this was an excellent choice. The burrata marries the beef and mango beautifully. I think you will truly enjoy these fusion tacos.
I am so glad Mission contacted me to try out their gluten-free tortillas. These soft tortillas have great flavor, texture and flexibility. In a blind test you would never know they were gluten-free. I tested them on several people and all agree these were great tortillas.
Note: these tortillas are currently only available in the Western United States.
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Slow cooker shredded beef
The beef takes about 15 minutes to put together and then it slow cooks for 8 hours. If you don't have 8 straight hours for the beef to cook, you can break up the cooking time into two sessions. I cooked ours for six hours, refrigerated it overnight and then returned the beef to the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes and then on low for 2 more hours. The advantage of letting the beef rest in the fridge mid-way the cooking process is the fat coagulates on the top of the cooking liquid and can be easily removed before finishing the slow cooking process.
I use a Cuisinart 6-quart slow cooker, because I like to make a large quantity. This recipe called for only a 3 1/2 pound brisket, but you could easily cook a 5-pounder in the same amount of cooking fluid. I recommend making a large brisket and then freezing any leftovers.
Spices and seasonings
These dried chiles are the dried version of poblano chiles and are not overly hot. They have a sweet, almost raisin-like flavor that flavors the meat. You can also use dried pasilla chiles.
Tajin seasoning is used by street fruit vendors in Mexico and Southern California to add spice to fresh fruit, cucumbers and jicama. It is made from ground chile peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice. This spice blend makes a delicious rim for a Bloody Mary instead of plain salt.
- 2 kosher salt
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1 T black pepper
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 dried Ancho chilies
- 1 cup water
- 2 T tamarind paste or concentrate
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 3.5 pound beef brisket (could use up to a 5 pound brisket)
- 1 red onion, sliced into ½" wedges from stem to stern
- 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 mangos. sliced
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1 small head Romaine lettuce, cut into ¼" slices across the grain
- 8 ounces burrata cheese, sliced
- Tajin fruit spice, to taste
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro for garnish
- Roasted tomato salsa (store bought is fine)
- Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a small bowl. Slice the brisket into three pieces and rub the three pieces all over with the seasoning. Set aside.
- Toast the dried chili peppers in a hot dry pan for a couple minutes. Remove and seed. Tear into 1 -2" pieces and put in a food processor, whirl the chilies on high to break up. Add with 1 cup water, tamarind paste and lime juice and process to combine.
- Scatter onions and garlic in bottom of the slow cooker. Place the brisket pieces on top of the onions and garlic and pour in the chile, water, lime and tamarind mixture. Pour in the red wine and turn the pieces of brisket with tongs to coat all of the meat in liquid. Place meat fat-side up, cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 hours, or until the meat can be easily shredded with two forks.
- Remove meat from slow cooker and let cool on a cutting board. Skim off any visible fat floating on top of the cooking liquid and strain into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook on medium high until sauce is reduced to about ¾ cup. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Shred beef with two forks and put in a bowl. Pour reduced sauce on top of the meat and toss to combine.
- Arrange the shredded beef, mango slices, lettuce and burrata on a platter. Season the mango, avocado and burrata cheese with Tajin fruit spice. Add lime wedges and cilantro for garnish.
- Heat the tortillas on a griddle for 15 seconds or so on each side. Serve with roasted tomato salsa.
Disclosure: I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Mission Foods. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences. However, I only promote products I truly believe in and use myself; the opinions in this post are my own.
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