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Southwestern Brisket

by Judith Finlayson

Southwestern Brisket

Southwestern Brisket, page 120, from 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson

Serves 6 to 8


Juicy and full of flavor, brisket is tender and delicious and lends itself to a wide variety of sauces and seasonings. This version, which relies on New Mexico chiles for its rich, tangy taste, is mildly piquant.


           Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker



2 tbsp clarified butter, beef tallow or pure lard, divided            30 mL

4 lbs   double beef brisket, trimmed (see Tips)            2 kg

2          onions, thinly sliced            2

6          stalks celery, thinly sliced (see Tips)      6

6          cloves garlic, minced          6

1 tbsp dried oregano          15 mL

1 tbsp ground cumin (see Tips)   15 mL

1 tbsp cracked black peppercorns           15 mL

12 tsp            sea salt         2 mL

2          bay leaves     2

2 cups            tomato sauce           500 mL

1 cup  beef stock     250 mL

14 cup           coconut sugar          60 mL

2 tbsp red wine vinegar      30 mL

2          dried New Mexico chile peppers  2

2 cups            boiling water 500 mL

1 to 2  jalapeño pepper, quartered, optional (see Tips)  1 to 2

2          green bell peppers, thinly sliced  2

12 cup           finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves    125 mL


1.         In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Brown brisket on both sides and place in slow cooker stoneware.

2.         Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tbsp (15 mL) of butter to the pan. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, peppercorns, sea salt and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, stock, coconut sugar and vinegar and stir well.

3.         Transfer to stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until brisket is very tender.

4.         About an hour before you’re ready to serve, in a heatproof bowl, soak New Mexico chiles in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, discarding soaking liquid and stems. Transfer to a blender and add approximately 1 cup (250 mL) of the brisket cooking liquid along with jalapeño peppers, if using. Purée. Add to brisket along with bell peppers. Cover and cook on High for an additional 30 minutes, until bell peppers are tender. Discard bay leaves. To serve, slice brisket thinly and place on a deep platter. Spoon sauce over and garnish liberally with parsley.


  • Entertaining Worthy
  • Can Be Halved 
(see Tips)



If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 312 quart) slow cooker. Reduce cooking time to about 6 hours on Low or 3 hours on High.

If the whole piece of brisket won’t fit in your slow cooker, cut it in half and lay the two pieces on top of each other.

If you are using the outer stalks of celery, peel them before slicing to remove the fibrous exterior.

For the best flavor, toast and grind cumin seeds yourself. To toast cumin: Place seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind.

Add the jalapeño peppers, if you like heat.


Make Ahead

Complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate mixture for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.



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