Christmas dinner, very much like Thanksgiving dinner, is a simple one. After a meal of tamales, Mexican hot chocolate and Polvorones (biscochos) on Christmas Eve, we take pleasure in feasting on a Texas style dish of Brisket with red chile- BBQ sauce and Borracho beans. An easy appetizer of guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream topped with homemade tortilla chips is served in large margarita glasses so that you can take it with you from room to room and never stop munching while you’re waiting for the brisket to be done. It turns into a lovely day sitting around with our daughter and her better half while Bob blares Christmas music through the stereo and tunes into the football game with the sound turned down.
The phone rings constantly with calls from family members, this year including our son Michael and our daughter in law Jennifer. This is the very first time without my son with us for the holidays and I’m feeling a little sad. But he’s been calling and asking for confirmation on the ingredients for making tamales. Seems it’s a little difficult to find the ingredients they need in Dallas where they live. But they’ll manage. Those two are quite resourceful.
So, if you have a “hankering” for a Texas style Christmas, try our simple menu and enjoy. Love you guys.
1 pound pinto beans
1 medium onion, diced
5 to 6 cups water
3 fresh tomatoes
4 green chiles, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can beer
Salt to taste
sliced pickled jalapeños, optional
Wash and sort pinto beans. Add onion and water to beans and bring to boiling point. Remove from heat and cover for two hours. Peel tomatoes and chop into small chunks. Add tomatoes, chiles, garlic and beer to beans, bring to second boil. Reduce heat and simmer from 5 to 6 hours. Add salt half an hour before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Brisket with Red Chile BBQ Sauce
1 (4 pound) brisket
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
1 cup red chile* sauce
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.Lay brisket over a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Brush completely with your favorite barbecue sauce. Wrap the brisket in the aluminum foil. Make sure it is wrapped tightly. Place on rack on a deep baking dish. Pour water to 2 inches in baking dish. Roast brisket for 8 hours until tender.
Thirty minutes before the brisket s done, combine the beef broth, 1 cup red chile sauce, and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce in saucepan. Whisk until well combined. Continue heating over low heat until ready to serve.When brisket is done roasting, remove from oven and allow to rest on counter while still wrapped in foil.Right before serving, slice brisket against the grain in thin slices. Serve with red chile BBQ sauce.*
Red Chile Sauce
9- (about 3 ounces) dried New Mexico or California red chiles, hot or mild or a combination of both
2- cups water, or more, to cover chiles completely with water in pan
1- small onion, chopped
2- cloves garlic, chopped
Toast chiles on a large baking pan for approximately 4 minutes. Let cool slightly and then remove seeds and stems.
IMPORTANT! Wear rubber gloves when handling chiles. If you accidentally rub your eyes when handling chiles without gloves, it will really sting.
In a 4-quart pan, combine chiles, water, onion, and garlic. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) until chiles are soft (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and cool slightly. In blender, whirl chile mixture till smooth. Run through sieve (strainer) to discard residue and any unprocessed chile skins. Purée can be refrigerated (covered) up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups.
* If you want a hotter tasting chile sauce, try adding 1 or 2 "chile de arbol", stemmed and seeded, to the chile in the water simmering step.