Brisket Braised In Coffee Ancho Chile Sauce



  • 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and ribs discarded*
  • 2 cups boiling-hot water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 lbs. beef brisket
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee

*These items are available at some major grocery chains, World Market, Jay International, and Global Foods.

Place dried peppers in a bowl with boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes. Drain peppers, reserving soaking liquid for use later in the recipe. Place the soaked chiles in a blender or food processor along with the onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, honey, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree mixture and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove excess fat from brisket, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper over brisket. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet large enough to accommodate the brisket. Add the brisket, browning it for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the brisket to a large, deep roasting pan, reserving the drippings in the skillet.

Heat the reserved drippings in the skillet and add the pureed chile mixture, the reserved chile soaking liquid (or 1 1/2 cups water) and the coffee. Stir well and heat to boiling. Carefully pour the hot liquid over the brisket. Cover the roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid or tightly with heavy duty foil paper.

Roast brisket in oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until brisket is fork tender. Place pan on a cooling rack and allow brisket to cool in pan, covered, for two hours at room temperature. Place covered pan in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Transfer meat to a large cutting board or plate. Remove surface fat from the sauce in the pan. Slice or cut brisket into chunks. Put brisket back into pan, cover, and place in oven until warmed, 30-40 minutes. Place meat and some of the sauce in a deep platter, passing additional sauce in a gravy bowl.

Can be served over mashed potatoes. (As an alternative saut é two large yellow onions, thinly sliced, in four tablespoons vegetable oil over low heat until onions are soft and translucent. Set aside. Boil six medium peeled potatoes in a pot of salted water until just fork-tender. Drain potatoes and add to skillet with onions. Toss potatoes with onions and oil, add salt and pepper to taste, and coarsely smash potatoes with a fork.)

Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet, January, 2006.