Public libraries are amazing! I love browsing through the stacks and taking home books, magazines, DVDs, etc. that we get to enjoy for a while and then return for others to continue the same process.
This recipe is from a book I found on one of those browsing adventures: Richard Sandoval’s New Latino Flavors. Aside from the fact that it was a beef brisket recipe, I noticed that it used guava. My dad grew up on a farm that had mangos and guavas as part of their crop. As a kid, I was not a fan of guava because I did not like the aroma or the taste. Now, I think it tastes great, though I am still not sure about their aroma.
This is what Richard Sandoval says about the recipe:
“Beef brisket is a flavor powerhouse, and slow simmering dissolves its tough parts to succulence. In this recipe, I give it a Latin twist with guava, for an especially tasty sauce.”
And the sauce is definitely tasty!
I’ve modified the recipe a bit to my taste, but you can check his book out from your local library to see this recipe and even more of his delicious “New Latino Flavors.”
Guava-Braised Beef Brisket (Estofado de falda de res con guayaba)
3 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
2 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium white onion
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 – 4 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder
1 (11.3 ounce) can of guava nectar or thawed frozen guava purée
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon mesquite liquid smoke
Water or beef broth, as necessary
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oven rack to the bottom third rack.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Add the brisket to the Dutch oven and brown on both sides (about 10 minutes). Take it out and reserve on a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the onion, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables until they are tender.
Stir in the ancho chile powder, guava nectar, vinegar, liquid smoke and simmer for a few minutes. Place the brisket back to the Dutch oven and add enough water or broth to reach ¾ of the side of the brisket and bring to a boil.
Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the oven. Bake for about 2 ½ hours or until the brisket is fork tender. Remove from the oven and take out the brisket to a cutting board to cool. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
As the brisket rests, blend the carrots, onion, guava nectar, etc. that the brisket cooked in with an immersion blender until you have a smooth sauce. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Reheat before serving.
When the brisket is just cool enough to handle, cut it across the grain and transfer to a plate. Top it with the reserved sauce (reheated, if necessary) and garnish with some chopped cilantro.