Lone Star Grillz Recipes - Brisket Trimmings Quesabirria Tacos

If you are remotely into barbecue you have heard of low and slow cooking.  The mecca of low and slow barbecue is smoked beef brisket.  Let’s be honest beef brisket is the unicorn of barbecue and it’s the one thing all barbecue enthusiasts inspire to master.  It’s safe to say most backyard barbecue enthusiasts have either experimented with smoking a brisket or it’s on the barbecue bucket list.

You might be thinking, I thought this was a Quesabirria Taco recipe?”  Stay with me, we're about to get there.

The first step to making a quality brisket is trimming it of the hard fat and giving it some shape.  In most cases I would guesstimate I trim two to four pounds from each brisket I prep.  I have always been bothered by discarding the trimmings, however, I have struggled to find a good use of them.  I thought I would eventually use the trimmings for ground beef or sausage links, but that requires additional equipment and skill set.

Whenever I trim a brisket, I vacuum seal the trimmings and store them in the freezer.  If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a large zip-lock style bag and remove as much air as possible.  An easy and effective way to remove the air from the bag is to slowly lower the bag of trimmings into a large pot of water. As the bag lowers it will force the air out of the bag. Then seal the bag just before it's completely submerged in the water. 

I start with the trimmings of two or three briskets.  This recipe can also be cooked with a chuck roast and/or beef cheeks, so don’t fret if you don’t have trimmings. Defrost the trimmings in the refrigerator a few days before you plan on cooking these. In addition to the brisket trimmings the following is a list of ingredients:


8 Ancho Chilies

4 Dried Guajillo Chilies

16 Dried Chile de Arbol

2 tsp. Pepper

2 tsp. Dried Thyme

2 tsp. Mexican oregano 

4 Bay Leaves

2 tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Cinnamon Stick

10 Cloves of Garlic

1 Onion

2 tomatoes from the vine

2-3 Tbs. Salt

3 cans of extra stout Guinness beer

32 oz Beef Broth

Juice of 4 Fresh limes

White Corn Tortillas


Monterey Jack Cheese

Queso Fresco

4 – 6 lbs. brisket trimmings or chuck roast

Start this recipe by rehydrating some dried peppers. Cut open the dried pepper, remove the seeds and the stems.  After all the peppers have been deseeded place them in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.  Bring the peppers and water mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes stirring occasionally.  

While the peppers are rehydrating, preheat the oven or smoker to 375 degrees. Peel garlic, and slice onion into four large pieces.  Lightly coat tomatoes, garlic, and onion in olive oil and place on a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Place vegetables in the oven or smoker and cook for approximately 20 minutes flipping the onions and garlic halfway through.

Remove the rehydrated peppers from the saucepan and place in a blender.  DO NOT discard the liquid from the saucepan.  Place the onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and Mexican oregano in the blender.  Blend all ingredients until a thick paste is formed.  If the paste looks to gritty use the liquid from the peppers to thin it out adding 1/4 cup at a time and blend. Repeat until you achieve the consistency of a paste.  

Now that the paste is done let’s start building birria.  Heat 2 tbs. of olive oil over medium high heat in a Dutch Oven or stock pot.  While the oil is heating, season your brisket trimming with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Brown the trimmings on all sides in batches.  Once all the trimmings have been browned remove them from the pot and reduce heat to medium.  Add a can of beer to the pot.  Using a wooden spoon scrape any bits and pieces from the bottom of the stock pot and deglaze the pan. 

Once the pot is deglazed, pour the remaining cans of beer and the chili pepper paste into the pot and combine.  Once combined, put your brisket trimmings into the mixture and ensure they are covered in liquid.  If they are not covered add beef broth until they are fully submerged.   Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cumin, and simmer covered 6 to 10 hours on low heat or in a smoker set at 225 degrees.  If you are using a smoker, you can cook uncovered for the first 2 hours to infuse it with wood fire flavor. 

The birria is done when it’s tender and starts to shred. Once done remove all the beef from the pot and shred with hands or a fork. Lightly salt the shredded beef and squeeze the juice of 2 or 3 limes over the shredded beef. 

Strain the consommé through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and discard the remnants. This may need to be done in batches.  Separate the fat from the broth.  Save the broth and the fat in separate containers. 

Place the fat in a shallow heat safe dish and dip a white corn tortilla coating it evenly on both sides.  Allow the tortilla to drip for a few seconds and place on a preheated griddle, or large pan, or Lone Star Grillz “La Plancha” top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, beef birria, onions, cilantro and Queso Fresco.  Fold tortilla in half and cook until slightly crispy, flip and cook opposite side until slightly crispy.  Serve consommé with chopped yellow onions, cilantro for dipping.

Recipe By: Derek Perry