Brisket Point Chili "Colorado"

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I made this earlier this evening. Late in the day I realized I hadn't thought about dinner, took a quick scan of the fridge and saw the leftover point from Friday's supper as well as some pineapple in a bowl, and here's the result. The pineapple really brings out the best in dried chilies I think. A little sugar helps boost the tomato--but don't use too much. I served it over plain white rice.

1 leftover point end of a barbecued beef brisket, some fat removed, cut into large cubes (mine was probably 1-1 1/2 lbs)

4 onions, peeled and sliced thinly

2 Tbls olive oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp dried thyme

2-3 Tbls white wine or water

4 Ancho chili peppers, stemmed, split, seeds shaken out

4 NM chili peppers, stemmed, split, seeds shaken out

1/2-3/4 c low-sodium chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp ground cumin

1 can beer (I had a Bud in the fridge)

1 14oz can diced tomatoes in juice

1/2-3/4 c diced fresh pineapple with juice (or use a small can of pineapple tidbits packed in juice)

2-3 tsp sugar

Heat a large dry skillet over med heat till hot, about 4-5 min. Add the peppers and toast till fragrant, flipping them periodically, about 3-4 min.
Put them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water till soft, about 1 hour, weighing down the peppers with a plate to keep them submerged. Drain.*

Heat the oil in a large pot over med-high heat till shimmering; add the onions, stir, and cook till onions soften, about 7-10 min. Add the salt and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, till the onions are well-browned and sticking in spots to the pot, about 15 min longer. Deglaze the pot with the wine, stirring and scraping the pot bottom to loosen all the flavorful bits, allowing the wine to reduce till almost gone. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove half the onions in the pot to a blender and add the softened chilies. Turn on the blender and pour in the chicken stock a few tablespoons at a time, till the peppers are very well pureed and thick, about the consistency of thick sour cream.

Return the pot with the remaining onions to the stove on medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and cumin, and cook till fragrant, about 1 min. Add the pepper puree, stir well, and add the beer and canned diced tomatoes with their juices. Increase heat to med-high, bring to a simmer, and add the diced pineapple and its juice. Add 2 tsp sugar, stir well, add the brisket cubes, stir, then cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Taste and adjust salt and sugar if needed. Serve over white rice.

* The water remaining in the bowl when peppers are rehydrated is sometimes bitter, especially when Anchos are used, which is why I did not use it to make the puree. If you wish to use it instead taste it first for bitterness.


A variation on this theme I made last night (10/9/2008--happy birthday to my mother, Anna Wilson, 86 today!). I used 2.5 lbs of point (with a little flat still attached) so the quantities are a bit different, and there are some procedural differences.

12 dried chilies (I used 2 each mulatto, guajillo, mild NM, hot NM, and 4 pasilla)

8 small onions, chopped

2 T olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 T dried thyme

8 large cloves garlic, pressed

1 T minced fresh ginger (or 1.5 t ginger powder)

2 fresh poblano chilies, finely chopped(remember: poblanos are the frish versions of anchos)

1 heaping T tamarind paste stirred into 8oz tepid water

2 c chicken stock

a little oil

2 t ground cumin

1 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice

2.5 lbs smoked brisket point, diced or cubed

8oz dried sweetened mangoes, chopped



2 T freshly squeezed orange juice

Prep and process the chiles as above.

Meanwhile, in the oil, sauté the onions with a little salt, the bay leaf anf the thyme, stirring frequently, till a little browning starts to occur. Add the chopped poblanos, stir, and take the onions to the lightly-browned-all-over stage. Scrape the onions to the side and add the garlic and ginger to the center of the pot, stirring them for 10 secs. Stir the garlic-ginger mix into the onions and allow to cook 30-45 secs more. Immediately degalze with the tamarind-water mix, stirring well and scraping the bottom of the pot. Bring to a strong simmer then remove the pot from the heat.

Purée the entire contents of the pot with the reconstituted dried chilies, in batches if necessary, adding the 2 c chicken stock as you go.

Add a little oil to the now-empty pot and heat it almost to smoking. Add the cumin and cook it, stirring, 15 secs, then immediately stir in the onion-chile-purée; add the tomatoes and all of their juices, the diced point and the chopped mangoes. Stir well, bring to a simmer, add some salt to taste, cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 1-2 hours, till the meat and mangoes are completely tender.

At this point you can leave the meat alone, can stick a handblender in the pot briefly, to break of some of the meat more, or can break up most or the enitire contents of the pot. I went the latter route for this pot for no particular reason. (It's a good trick, though, if you will be serving to anyone that is fat-averse, texture-wise (or if you are yourself).)

Stir in the orange juice, adjust salt, and serve--or cool, then fridge for the next day.

The point; the chopped mangoes about to be stirred in; served over rice:


K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Very much. The point cubes stayed intact but were melt-in-your-mouth. The kind of dark fruitiness of the pepper puree was delicious with the smoky meat and the sweet pineapple. I made two generous servings over rice, then had enough for four more slightly smaller chili/rice servings which I froze individually. Yep--definitely a keeper.

Albert Sanchez

TVWBB Super Fan

Sounds good. Maybe I'll stop by the grocery store on the way home and grab some of the ingredients. Not sure I'll be able to get Ancho or NM chiles - but we'll figure something out.

Thanks! -Albert

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Safeway should have them both in the dried pepper section of either the produce area or the Latino foods section. If you make it, let me know what you think.

Albert Sanchez

TVWBB Super Fan
I located all the ingredients in the Brisket Point Colorado recipe, so I cooked last night.

A small note about the recipe - I forgot to add the meat until the very end - as the recipe doesn't specify when to add it (I'm practicing senility). I added a cup full of fresh chopped cilantro, because I love it.

The preparation process is good and <span class="ev_code_RED">the food was TASTY in absolute terms.</span>

Proud of my efforts, I leveraged my Mexican heritage by solicting my mom's opinion about how my Mexican dish turned out
She tasted it and looked at the recipe, then said it was tasty but fairly acidic - from not having enough fat in the dish to dilute the acidity of the chilis, tomatoes, pineapple and beer. I explained that my brisket point had fat on it. Basically she said, well get more fat into the dish, or cut back on so many acidic ingredients

Looking to salvage any remnant of my cooking self-esteem,
I served it up to my spouse and she loved it

I liked it too. I've learned not to give my mom any more taste tests.

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Wow. I just re-read the recipe three times--couldn't believe I left out when to add the brisket! (I've edited the recipe to include that info.)

I'm glad you liked it, Albert.

I think brisket point has enough fat but your mom's point is familiar--in a nice way. I've cooked moles with many Mexican women over the years. Many do as I do: toast the peppers, seeds, nuts, bread, and tortillas in a dry pan. But many fry everything in lard. While that's too much fat to me, there's no disputing their excellent moles. But we had fun 'arguing' about it.

Albert Sanchez

TVWBB Super Fan

Yes, thanks for the recipe. Wow, I guess you've met my mom! She wants to fry <span class="ev_code_RED">everything</span> in lard too! I've had many a chat with her about cutting back on frying of things - for health reasons. Usually, before I can finish, she'll cut me off and ask if I want to take some tamales home for dinner (made with corn meal, LOTS of lard and pork)What are you gonna do?


K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I know, I know. Now with moles you can toast everything dry; I then use a little oil or lard for the plantains, raisins, and maybe the spices or avocado leaf. Personally, I don't think it requires all the lard, especially will all the nuts, and seeds, and the meats you're going to use.

But tamales? The best are made with plenty of lard, mixed till the masa is light and airy and, well, I'm sure you know. As you say--what are you gonna do? Refuse Mama's homemade tamales?! I can't even imagine that!

Albert Sanchez

TVWBB Super Fan
Kevin, you're right.

And the irony about tamales....

They taste even better if you take a few cooked ones, and toast them in a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of hot oil!

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Jane, Jane, Jane. No, no, hell no, the Bud was in the fridge for cooking purposes. For drinking give me an import or a wonderful domestic micro-brew--something that someone spent some time and thought developing. But I'll cook with the cheap domestic stuff!

Doug D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Just because it's cheap doesn't necessarily make it undrinkable...

(Will post my secret "cheap wine" wine list shortly.)

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Okay, Morgan, you got us.

Jane/Doug-- Actually, I am not a beer drinker. I keep beer around for the few in my group that drink it regularly and their preference is Mich Light or Bud, so that's what I cook with. Sometimes I'll grab a few dark beers for when I'd prefer that for cooking. On the rare occasion I drink beer it tends to be an import or a domestic micro. White and red wines, and high-end vodka are my sips of choice.


TVWBB Super Fan
posted March 07, 2005 06:27 AM


Yes, thanks for the recipe. Wow, I guess you've met my mom! She wants to fry everything in lard too! I've had many a chat with her about cutting back on frying of things - for health reasons. Usually, before I can finish, she'll cut me off and ask if I want to take some tamales home for dinner (made with corn meal, LOTS of lard and pork)What are you gonna do?

Tamales - what is that? Something I've never even seen in my UK cookery books. Any recipes?

Have seen one recipe for Mole (Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, book called "Meat") - but no mention of avocado leaf. A recipe for this would be good too.

And I noticed a thread about chilli Well - EVERY UK cook book has beans in chilli! Authentic or bad? A few good recipes for this would be appreciated too. They always have, like, half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of chilli powder - very bland. Mine are my own invention, not bland - but certainly not autnentic anything. Pointers and tips would be very much appreciated.


K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Tamales are made with lime-treated cornmeal flour in which lard (usually) is mixed to form a dough. This dough is filled with a mixture of varying sorts (a traditional one being a pork-based mix). The dough with its enclosed filling is then wrapped in dried corn husks (or banana leaves, depending on where you are in Mexico). They are steamed. Here is an interesting link.

Chili, according to many purists, does not contain beans--though this is moot. Many people, including me, tend to say 'chili with beans' when that's what we mean, and just 'chili' when beans are not included.

There are nearly countless possibilities for mole sauces. I posted one here.

Avocado leaf has a light anise-like flavor. I've never seen them for sale anywhere. I just pick one off a tree. They're an optional addition in many Mexican recipes.

Try the recipe above for the Colorado style chili. It's quite tasty.

adam clyde

Kevin -

thoughts on a beer/wine substitute? I'm guessing just a bit more stock would do fine. I'm guessing the wine doesn't add too much acidity, so it wouldn't throw off the pH.