Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

The North End Barbecue & Moonshine restaurant in Indianapolis is definitely one of my favorite restaurants. They have a fantastic menu, but for me, the best dish by far is the Texas red chili. It’s simple, spicy, and oh so packed with flavor. Smoked brisket, homemade bacon and a red sauce that I could just slurp up with a (big) straw. I can’t always make it to North End BBQ, so I decided to make my own (slightly different) version of their Texas chili. I was absolutely pleased with it. Nice and spicy, with a bit of smokiness.
smoked-brisket-texas-chiliNow, you could make this smoked brisket Texas chili with just cubed chuck that has been lightly browned in the Dutch oven first. Nothing wrong with that, not one bit, but if you have smoked brisket, it really gives the chili a completely different flavor than just regular ole chili.

I roasted a few jalapenos on the grill and chopped them to use as garnish. They added even more bite and flavor to what was already a great bowl of chili.

My green chile mac and cheese chili stew is also out-of-this-world crazy good. Give it a try too!

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 dried chiles I used guajillo, but just about any chile will work
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth plus more if needed
  • 2 cups water plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina if you don't have any masa, take a handful of plain tortilla chips and grind them in a food processor or by hand using a mortar and pestle
  • 2 pounds smoked brisket cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Garnishes sour cream, roasted jalapenos, grilled lime edges, etc

Instructions

  • Toast the chiles in a hot skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove to a large bowl and cover in hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
  • Remove chiles (do not discard the water). Cut off the stems and remove the seeds.
  • Chop lightly and transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the cumin, pepper and a few pinches of salt, along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Process until smooth. If needed add a bit more of the water.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the broth and water. Bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk in the masa harina and add the processed chile paste.
  • Add the brisket and stir. Cover.
  • Let simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender, adding more broth if necessary.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and add more salt to taste. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the desired garnishes.

Burnt Ends

I made some poor man’s burnt ends not long ago, which really got my mojo going. So I ran out and picked up a gorgeous Wagyu beef brisket and proceeded to make the real thing, brisket burnt ends. And suddenly, all was good in the world again. Nothing compares to these in my book. Tender as you can get. Beefy good flavor. Every bite is a treat.
Burnt EndsI could eat these all day long. As much as I love sliced smoked brisket, or chopped smoked brisket, these little morsels pack more flavor into every bite. And they’re really great served on a hoagie bun with lettuce and tomato as a po boy!

Need to feed a crowd? Try hot dog burnt ends instead.

Burnt Ends

Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 22 hours
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the brisket

  • 3-4 pound brisket point
  • Peppery rub I used Tatonka Dust, but a mix of salt and pepper is perfect too
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce

Texas Crutch sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon more peppery rub

Instructions

For the brisket

  • Rub the rub all over the brisket.
  • Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks. Burnt ends need a little more smoke than say sliced brisket, in my opinion.
  • Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  • Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  • Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  • Remove the brisket from the foil.
  • Cut beef into 3/4" - 1" cubes and place into a large disposable pan.
  • Lightly (very lightly!) drizzle the meat with the BBQ sauce. You just want the flavor from the sauce. Toss gently to coat.
  • Sprinkle with more of the rub and return to the smoker for 1 more hour.
  • Devour.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Some folks aren’t fans of the ‘Texas crutch’ method of cooking brisket. Some folks do the crutch with butcher paper. Some crutch with foil. This here is how I smoke my brisket using the Texas crutch, packed with flavor, tender and juicy. I slice it thin then pile it on buns for sandwiches or just eat it right off the plate. And yes, a good amount of it disappears while I’m slicing it.
Texas Crutch Smoked BrisketI do not sauce my brisket before slicing it, but you can if you like. Wait until it’s almost done to sauce it and don’t use too much sauce. You don’t want to hide the fantastic brisket flavor. The rub really adds fantastic flavor to the meat and you don’t want to miss out on that! You can also use my coffee rub for beef, which adds a totally different flavor profile to your brisket.

On the off-chance I have leftover smoked brisket, it often ends up in chili.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 20 hours

Ingredients

Brisket

  • 1 4-5 pound brisket flat

For the rub

  • 2 tablespoons beef base
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Texas Crutch sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice

Instructions

  • Optional: Cut a small piece off a corner of the brisket perpendicular to the meat grain. This will make it easier to find and cut against the grain after the brisket is done.
  • Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket.
  • Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks.
  • Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  • Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  • Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  • Remove the brisket from the foil and return to the smoker (and brush with BBQ sauce, if desired) until the temperature reaches 200-205 F.
  • Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing against the grain.