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Sticky brisket tacos recipe

Sticky brisket tacos recipe

6 ratings

This is a great dish for entertaining as the oven does all the hard work. Marinating and slow-cooking the brisket makes the meat beautifully tender. Serve with tortilla wraps, charred corn and guacamole for a Mexican-inspired feast. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 7½ hrs plus overnight marinating​
  • 871 calories / serving


For the sticky brisket

  • 1kg beef brisket​
  • 2 tsp ground cumin​
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice​
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon​
  • 1 tsp chipotle flakes​
  • 1 tsp paprika​
  • 1½ tsp salt​
  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar​
  • ½ tsp cocoa​

For the sauce

  • olive oil, for frying​
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced​
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed​
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée​
  • 450ml pouch liquid beef stock​
  • 1 tbsp honey​

For the pickled onions

  • ½ red onion, very finely sliced​
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar​
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar​
  • 1 tsp fine salt​

For the guacamole

  • ½ red onion, finely diced​
  • 2 large, ripe avocados​
  • 30g fresh coriander, quite finely chopped​
  • 1 lime, juiced​
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed​
  • 3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and flesh finely diced​
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped​

For the corn

  • olive oil, for frying​
  • 340g tin sweetcorn kernels, drained and rinsed​
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise​
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed​
  • 30g fresh coriander, quite finely chopped​
  • ½ lime, juiced​
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced​
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

To serve

  • mini flour tortillas, warmed in a hot pan, to serve​
  • soured cream, to serve​
If you don't have red onions, try using white, brown or spring onions

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    51g 73%
  • Saturates

    18g 89%
  • Sugars

    19g 21%
  • Salt

    2.1g 35%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 53.6g Protein 46.6g Fibre 6.2g


  1. At least 24 hours before you plan to eat, marinate the beef. Untie and unroll the brisket and lay it out flat. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, then rub the mixture all over the beef, working it into the meat with your hands. Roll the brisket back up and tie it up again with kitchen string. If you don’t have any kitchen string, roll the brisket back up and sit it up on its seam. If your brisket is not rolled simply make some slashes in the meat and rub the spices in. Cover and chill overnight (or for up to 48 hours).​ 
  2. The next day, preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Bring 100ml water to a simmer in a large, lidded casserole pan and place the brisket into it. Put the lid on, then transfer to the oven. Cook for 25 mins, then reduce the heat to gas 3, 160°C, fan 140°C and cook for a further 6 hours, checking halfway through and topping up with a little hot water if it has dried out.​ 
  3. Once the meat is tender enough to break apart with a fork, remove from the oven and pot, wrap in foil and leave to rest for at least one hour (you can also leave it to cool completely and chill overnight).​ 
  4. While it’s cooking, mix all the ingredients for the pickled onions together and set aside, tossing them every now and then until they become completely soft.​ ​
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the guacamole together, season well and chill, covered, until needed.​​ 
  6. To make the sauce for the brisket, heat a little oil in the casserole and fry the onion over a medium-high heat for 6-7 mins, until softened with a little colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 mins more, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and honey, bring to a simmer, then reduce for around 5-6 mins until glossy. Remove from the heat.​​ 
  7. Unwrap the brisket, snip off the string, then pull it into large shreds with two forks. Toss the meat through the sauce and keep warm over a low heat. Drain the onions and put them on the table with the guacamole, tortillas and soured cream.​​ 
  8. On a separate hob, heat a large frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, tip in the corn and fry, stirring often, for 4-5 mins, until the corn is golden. While it’s frying, mix the remaining ingredients in a serving dish, then tip in the corn and stir everything together gently, trying not to crumble the feta too much.​​ 
  9. Quickly bring the meat back to a brisk simmer, then serve with all the accompaniments, for everyone to help themselves to.​

See more Beef recipes

Get ahead Make the brisket then cool and chill, covered, for up to 2 days. Reheat in a covered pan over a medium heat, stirring now and then. Add a little water if it starts to dry out. The guacamole can be made up to 12 hours ahead and chilled. The onions can be made up to 3 days ahead. Chill in their pickling liquid and drain at the last minute.

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