Catahoula Brisket in Spicy Beer and Tomato Sauce

Catahoula Brisket in Spicy Beer and Tomato Sauce

Spice Mix (see below)
1 fresh brisket (4 to 5 pounds)
1 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons pure olive oil
3 onions, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, quartered lengthwise, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 (32-ounce) can plum tomatoes
1 to 2 ounces canned chipotle in adobo sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
16 ounces medium-body beer
6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons lime juice

Spice Mix:
4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon toasted, ground cumin
1 tablespoon toasted, ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon crumbled achiote
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spice mix: Combine all ingredients; blend well. You will not need all of the mix. Save remainder for another use (chili, pot roast, stews, ribs, pork roast and the like).

Season the brisket with 3 tablespoons of the spice mix. Season the flour with 4 tablespoons of the spice mix. Dust the meat with the seasoned flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear on both sides. Remove to a large plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. When hot, add the onions, carrots, jalapeño and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Add the Roma tomatoes and cook until they break down. Add the canned tomatoes and chipotles, then season with salt and pepper. Cook to a stewlike consistency.

Add the beer and stock. Return the brisket to the pot, cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until is tender. To test for doneness, stick a 2-tined meat fork into the thickest part of the brisket. Lift the roast. If the fork will not quite hold the weight of the meat, it is perfect. Remove the brisket and reserve.

Reduce the sauce until it is slightly thickened, then strain out the solids. Transfer the solids to a blender and liquefy with a small amount of sauce. Mix the blended solids back into the sauce. Add vinegar and lime juice. Adjust seasoning.

Let the brisket rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. When ready to serve, slice thinly and briefly reheat in the sauce.

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