Friday, June 26, 2009


Hey Everybody!! Girlichef here...fillin' in for Chef E while she lazes the day away in the big ol' state of Texas. I was super excited when E asked me if I'd like to be a guest blogger because it would mean a whole new experience for me (you can normally find me here)! I mean, I probably know some of you...but not all of you. So the movie that normally plays out in my head furiously starts scribbling a new script. Oh no...Chef E is an educator and people are used to being schooled when they visit her. Will they just see that a guest blogger is here and skip right on by? What should my post be about? Will they enjoy it? Will they enjoy me? Breathe in. Breathe out. eek. Finally I decided to just do a post the same way I would if I was at "home".

I knew I wanted to cook up something reminiscent of Texas. Just before Chef E left for Texas, I asked her what some of her favorite "food that reminds her of Texas" was. And in true foodie fashion, she listed quite a few things and those thoughts led to tummy growls and plots of what she could make quick before leaving...or soon after arriving. But, the thing that really caught my fancy was her Tex-Mex Brisket (come on, you had to know she had me at Tex-Mex). So, since I was unable to be in Texas, I brought a little Texas to me.

Chef E's Tex-Mex Beef Brisket
(amounts are guesstimates...go w/ the tastes & flavor combos you enjoy)

2-3 lb. beef brisket
Salt I used Espresso Brava Sea Salt (coffee+beef=delicious)
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder I used Chipotle Chili Powder
Liquid Smoke

Start off by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F.

This is a 3-something pound brisket. See that thick layer of fat on the top? If you are doubting your butchering skills, ask your butcher to trim this down to ~1/4" thickness. I actually like to do it myself, but I'm cuckoo like that. So, beef brisket...trim...

Next, rub your chosen amount of the dry spices all over and into your meat. Set it in your roasting pan fat side up and give it a little liquid smoke massage. Cover tightly with foil (or a lid if you have one) and slide that baby into the oven for ~30-45 minutes per pound.
When you remove it from the oven, carefully lift back the foil (steam!!) and test the middle of the brisket to see if it is "pull" tender (that was Chef E's term). If it isn't, slide it back into the oven for a while longer. When it is done, it'll look a little somethin' like this...
aw yeah..."pull" tender with a delicious crust around the outside! If you're not going to eat it right away, let it cool down a bit and then pull the meat apart and use some of the delicious cooking juices to store it in (refrigerated) so it doesn't dry out. Chef E does some other things with the juices afterwards...but this is my version of her version, and here's what I decided to do with it.

Refried Black Beans
by girlichef

1 heaping Tbs. bacon grease
1 (30 oz) can Black Beans w/ a bit of their juices
minced onion
garlic powder

Put your bacon grease into a small to medium sized non-stick pan over medium heat. Once it is melted, pour in the black beans with some of their cooking juices. Add your spices and let it bubble away for a while, stirring occasionally.
After some of the juices have begun to evaporate, smash up the beans with a potato masher...a few larger chunks are okay by me. Let the beans continue to cook over low heat, stirring here and there.
They are done once they have begun to dry out...and basically look like refried beans. Remove from heat.
So, are you wondering what I'm going to do now? Some of the brisket "after-talk" was about tostadas....and if you know me, you know that adding a tortilla to something is never a bad thing. What do you get when you take those refried beans in the picture above and add them to the pulled-beef from the Tex-Mex brisket below...

...and then fry up a few tortillas into crispy tostada shells....
...and then add some Salsa Verde, some Mexican Crema, a bit of chopped green onion, thinly sliced radish, torn up cilantro and chunks of creamy avocado...with a sprinkling of Queso Quesedilla?

This, dear friends, is what you get.....
Chef E may have Texas...but I am completely content with my Brisket & Black Bean Tostadas that bring the taste of Texas right into my own kitchen. Of course, these are almost gone...