Savory shredded beef salad tempts

  • By Judyrae Kruse / Herald Columnist
  • Tuesday, June 5, 2007 9:00pm
  • Life

Now, meaning right this very minute, and straight from a big goody bag of new, different and delicious recipes sent along by Camano Island cook Susan Bender, we have a snappy, beefed-up entree salad designed to bear the weight for the whole meal, always assuming you accompany it with some rolls or bread and a spread.

Today’s offering is another of those gobbling-good specialties gleaned on various travels to exotic places Susan and her husband have made the past couple of years. And, although this looks like it has to be cooked, assembled and sent straight to the table in one fell swoop, I don’t see any reason why the meat itself couldn’t be prepared early, in the cool of the morning or possibly even the day before, and then refrigerated until later, just in time to whomp everything together for dinner.

Whether you’re going to fix part of it early, or fix all of it late, who could possibly resist fixing:

1 beef brisket (about 5 pounds), trimmed

2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced

4 cups beef stock


4 fresh poblano or 6 Anaheim chilies

1 can (7 ounces) chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup white wine vinegar


2 cloves garlic, minced

1medium red onion, peeled and diced

8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cubed

1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese

3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/2 cup pepitas (roasted squash or pumpkin seeds)

1 head romaine lettuce, separated into leaves

3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges

5 radishes, thinly sliced

Place brisket in a large pot and scatter with the yellow onions. Add the stock and enough water to cover the meat and onions by 3 inches. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat is fork tender, about 4 hours, turning midway through the cooking time.

Remove pot from heat and let stand uncovered until brisket is cool enough to handle, about 25 minutes. Transfer brisket to cutting board and shred with 2 forks or your fingers. Set aside.

Char poblano or Anaheim chilies over an open flame or under a broiler unit, turning to blacken all over. Place peppers in a paper bag, close and let steam for 15 minutes. Remove peppers from bag, rub off skin and remove stems. Slice chilies open, scrape out and discard veins and seeds, and cut into strips; set aside.

Drain chipotles, reserving the adobo sauce. Seed and chop the peppers, then turn into a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, salt to taste and minced garlic. Whisk together until thoroughly mixed, then taste; if dressing is not spicy enough, whisk in some of the reserved adobo sauce. Stir in the reserved shredded beef, the poblano or Anaheim chili strips, red onion, jack and cotija cheeses, cilantro and the pepitas, mixing lightly but thoroughly, until all ingredients are distributed evenly and coated with the dressing.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of the lettuce on a large platter or individual plates. Top evenly with the meat mixture, and garnish platter or plates with the tomato, avocado and radish slices.

Do you have a favorite whole-meal-deal salad recipe to share? Or, for that matter, any other favorite summer salad? If so, don’t hesitate to send it along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. As you know, we are always happy to receive your contributions and requests, but please remember that all letters and all e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Food section.

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