A Spoonful of Spice

Recipes for low-sugar living + treats for special occasions

Tacos: "Smoked" Brisket with Lime and Avocado

Tacos are all about juicy, flavorful meat. I tried slow braising brisket in a spiced smoky tea before mixing in a few other ingredients. It came out perfect. Others approved. And, now it's a go-to recipe. 

Growing up in California, tacos are a staple. They are everywhere, cheap, and delicious. Good taquerias are not as prolific in New York, so it's definitely worth the time and effort to attempt these homemade tacos. If you love tacos as much as I do, you'll want to make these every week.

*I also included a 30-minute alternative with ground beef (for weekdays).

Share and Enjoy!


Three-Hour "Smoked" Brisket

Braising Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 6 cups of brewed Lapsong Souchang tea
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Spice sachet: 8 juniper berries and 6 coriander seeds 

30-minute version: 2 lbs. ground beef, 1 onion, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground coriander, salt & pepper, 1/2 lemon, and 1-2 chipotles in adobo. Mix in 2 diced scallions and fresh salsa into the meat. 


  • 1 whole lemon or 2 limes, squeezed
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes: cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped
  • black pepper and salt 


Toppings: Jack cheese, cilantro, and avocado


  1. Bring the beef brisket, onions, salt, juniper berries, coriander, and 6 cups of tea to boil in a dutch oven.
  2. Reduce the heat, put the lid on, and simmer for 3 hours. 
  3. Remove the brisket from the dutch oven and allow the brisket to cool on a cutting board.
  4. Shred the meat with your fingers and then roughly chop. 
  5. Mix in lemon or lime juice, scallions, tomatoes, and chipotles. 
  6. Add salt and pepper, to taste
  7. Serve with warm tortillas, and toppings such as jack cheese, cilantro, and avocado

*Adapted from http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Shredded-Beef-with-Lime-and-Avocado