Smoked Brisket Tacos

Leftover brisket makes terrific tacos. Salty cotija cheese, also called queso añejo, provides a sharp counterpoint to the smoky brisket. Find it near other specialty cheeses or in Mexican grocery stores. To make this recipe kosher, omit the cheese and use vegan yogurt in Step 2. Read more about this recipe.

Smoked Brisket Tacos
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • ½ cup rice vinegar

  • ½ cup hot water

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced into rounds

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled, plus 1 clove minced, divided

  • ¼ cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 teaspoon lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges for serving

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • 3 radishes, very thinly sliced

  • 2 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into thirds

  • 1 pound sliced Grill-Smoked Barbecue Brisket (3 cups; see Associated Recipe)

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed

  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Combine vinegar, hot water, sugar and 1 tablespoon salt in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add jalapeños and smashed garlic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 month.

  2. Combine minced garlic, yogurt, 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss radishes with 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt in another small bowl. Toss avocados with the remaining 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt in another small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, turning often, until slightly wilted and charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.

  4. Add brisket to the pan and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.

  5. Serve the brisket with avocado, yogurt sauce, scallions, jalapeños, radishes, cheese and cilantro in tortillas, with lime wedges on the side, if desired.

Associated Recipe

Grill-Smoked Barbecue Brisket

To make ahead

Refrigerate pickled jalapeños (Step 1) for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

537 Calories
26g Fat
43g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 537
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 38g 76%
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Vitamin A 1017IU 20%
Sodium 838mg 36%
Potassium 947mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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