A Meal Worthy of Cinco de Mayo: Brisket Tacos with Ajvar

So, as many of you know, my husband and I went to Croatia last week. We ate a LOT of great food. One of the things we had there was a Serbian meal called Ćevapi u lepinji sa kajmakom. (AKA: kababs in flat bread served with either keymack (a creamy dairy product similar to clotted cream) or ajvar. Obsessed. I mean it’s not the healthiest thing by any means, but man was it insane: meat cooked on a skillet top with flat bread, raw onions and potatoes. I’ll include a picture of it at the end of this post. You see the red stuff? It’s the ajvar. A delectable mix of chard red peppers, eggplant, garlic, and olive oil. I took the liberty of adding a few of my favorite spice and just a touch of sweetness to give it an extra kick. J I told Blake I was going to add it to tacos and he thought I was crazy… until he tasted it. SO FRIGGIN GOOD, Y’ALL. Did I just make Serbian food Mexican…? 

Brisket Tacos with Ajvar

Ingredients

Ajvar:

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 large egg plant
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Other:

  • 2 pounds beef brisket
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • tortillas of choice (I used homemade almond flour ones- feel free to email me back if you want this recipe)

Method

For the brisket: Remove brisket from the packaging and season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust forms on each side of the meat and place in the slow cooker (fatty side up). Add minced garlic. Add the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8+ hours. (Honestly, I think I cooked mine for about 24 hours… its was magical). Allow to rest before transferring to a plate and shredding.

For the ajvar: Put oven on broil. Add eggplant and red peppers to a lined baking sheet. Bake until the skins are charred. You will have to flip them every few minutes. Cook eggplant until the skin darkens and wrinkles. Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a plate. Allow them to sit for about 20 minutes. At this time you will be able to remove the charred skin, seeds, and cores from peppers. Once the eggplant is cool, cut it in half (long ways) and spoon out the flesh- discard skin. Combine the peppers, eggplant, and the reminding ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Season with salt and pepper.

For the caramelized onions: In a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan, heat ghee or butter on medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Add sliced onions and stir to coat. Reduce to medium heat. Let cook for 30+ minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow them to brown and caramelize.

Assemble tacos with tortillas of choice. Add the brisket, then the onions, tomatoes, ajvar, and top with cilantro and green onions.

Enjoy!

 

Ćevapi with ajvar and and keymack

Ćevapi with ajvar and and keymack