IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Brisket Tacos with Salsa Verde and Pickled Red Onions

Dallas Brisket Tacos with Cotija Cheese, Salsa Verde and Pickled Red Onions
Dallas Brisket Tacos with Cotija Cheese, Salsa Verde and Pickled Red OnionsZach Pagano
Cook Time:
5 hrs
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

The spice of the fresh salsa verde pairs perfectly with the meaty richness of the brisket in this recipe. The piquant pickled onions and salty cheese round out the complementary flavors in these incredible tacos.

Technique tip: Prep everything the night before, then assemble tacos just before game time.

Swap option: You can swap corn tortillas for flour tortillas. Also, if you can't find cotija cheese, you can substitute shredded Mexican cheese blend.


  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 5-pound brisket
Salsa verde (makes 3 cups)
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup diced white onions
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded
  • 1 cup peeled and diced English cucumber
  • cups fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 limes, juiced
Pickled red onions (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 18 6-inch flour tortillas
  • pounds cooked brisket (recipe above)
  • 1 cup salsa verde (recipe above)
  • cups cotija cheese
  • 1 cup pickled red onions (recipe above)
  • 1 12-ounce can pickled sliced jalapeños
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 avocados, sliced (optional)


For the brisket:


Preheat oven to 250°F.


In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix. Generously season the beef brisket on all sides with the rub and let marinate for 20 minutes.


Place the brisket onto a sheet tray or roasting pan fitted with a wire rack and slow cook in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 155°F (about 2 hours). Wrap the entire brisket in foil and return to the oven until the internal temperature reaches 200°F (about another 2-3 hours). Remove the brisket from oven and let rest, covered in foil.

For the salsa verde:


Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion and jalapeños in a large pot and cover with water.


Place pot on burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 10-12 minutes or until the tomatillo skins begin to pull away, and the jalapeños become tender.


Strain and let cool. Once cool, transfer to a blender or food processor with the cucumber, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, adding water as needed.


Add fresh lime juice to taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt if necessary. Transfer to a nonreactive container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pickled red onions:

Combine rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, pickling spice, and salt in a 2 quart sauce pot and bring to a boil. Strain and pour boiling liquid over sliced red onions in a nonreactive tempered (heat-safe) container and let sit on the counter, covered, until it cools to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and store until ready to use.

For the tacos:

Lightly toast the tortillas on a burner over a medium-low flame until soft and pliable, about 10 seconds each side. Lay each toasted flour tortilla flat on clean work surface and load each one up with about 2 ounces of sliced brisket, 1 tablespoon of salsa verde, 1 tablespoon of cotija cheese, sliced pickled jalapeños, pickled red onions and sliced avocado. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.