My father was a Midwest farmer who grew corn and cows. I guess I was spoiled with the really good stuff at home because I don’t eat much beef now. It’s not the same when purchased from the grocery store. Or maybe it’s a case of things tasting different as an adult than as a child. Twinkies aren’t nearly as good as they used to be either.
So when I eat beef, it has to be special. These quesadillas qualify. Beef brisket, smoked or otherwise, is sandwiched with cheese and barbecue sauce between crispy, golden-brown tortillas. Make them more sophisticated by spreading a layer of Brie on the bottom tortilla. It adds a subtle and slightly musty flavor I really like. That’s saying something for someone who doesn’t spend much time hanging around the deli cheese case. Most of it seems too expensive and I’m not sure what to do with it.
Even without the Brie, the Pepper Jack adds interest. If you are cooking for somebody who doesn’t like spicy (like my dad), stick with Monterey Jack. Cheddar will also work.
Amounts given below are only a suggestion. I never measure–just pile it on. Be sure there is a layer of cheese next to each tortilla. When melted, it will glue everything together making them easier to flip without losing all the goodies.
Smoked brisket is best in my opinion. But if it’s not available, I have included an easy recipe for brisket baked in your oven. Since I work all day, I prefer baking it after dinner. The meat should be done by bedtime when I put it into the fridge to chill making the congealed fat easy to remove before reheating the next day. Stays good for about three days in the refrigerator or freeze if desired.
- 1 (3-pound) beef brisket
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (12-ounce) can cola drink
- 2 7-8-inch flour tortillas
- 3 ounces chopped, cooked brisket
- Brie (enough to make thin layer), optional
- ⅓ cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
- Generous tablespoon barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and 2 cloves garlic. Place in 13 x 9 inch foil-lined casserole dish. Pour cola over meat. Cover entire pan with foil.
- Bake in oven 2 to 2½ hours until tender. Turn meat over half way through cooking.
- Chill meat in juices. When ready to use, skim off congealed fat. Slice or chop meat across the grain before serving.
- Assemble tortilla in the following order: tortilla, half of Jack cheese (Spread some Brie on first if using), brisket, the other half of the Jack cheese, barbecue sauce, tortilla
- Briefly preheat a medium non-stick skillet. Coat pan with a quick spray of cooking oil.
- Carefully lay tortilla into skillet over medium heat. Press lightly to help the cheese melt and hold everything together. When bottom is golden brown and crispy, spray top tortilla with vegetable spray and turn quesadilla with a spatula. Continue grilling until second side is also brown and crispy.
- Transfer to cutting board and cut into four or six wedges. I like to use a pizza cutter. Scissors also work well. A knife would be my third choice.
Speaking of my father, Happy Father’s Day and a slightly early birthday greeting. He will be 92 years old in July. Isn’t that amazing? Even more amazing is the fact that he regularly wins the online Scrabble game my sisters and I play with him almost every Saturday morning.
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