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Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.

Nutrition Profile
  • Egg Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Healthy Aging
  • Healthy Immunity

  • 2 pounds beef brisket (flat end), trimmed 
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 8 small jalapeño peppers 
  • 16 corn tortillas, warmed 
  • 2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce 
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija (see Tip) or feta cheese 

Avocado Salsa 
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes 
  • 2 mini sweet peppers, diced 
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Prep - 25 m
Ready In - 8 h 30 m
  1. Place brisket in a 4- to 7-quart slow cooker and sprinkle with chile powder, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano. Whisk water and tomato paste in a small bowl and add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. 
  2. About 20 minutes before serving, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add whole jalapeños and cover. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and turning the jalapeños with tongs as needed, until charred and blistered on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to soften. 
  3. Meanwhile, prepare avocado salsa: Combine avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, sweet peppers, minced jalapeño, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl. 
  4. Transfer the brisket to a clean cutting board. Shred it, then finely chop. Slice the blistered jalapeños. 
  5. Serve the brisket in tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and the salsa.
  • Tip: Traditionally made with cow's milk, cotija is a salty Mexican cheese that's crumbly, dense and best used sprinkled on top of dishes just before eating. Look for it with other specialty cheeses at most supermarkets, or use feta in a pinch.
  • Equipment: 4- to 7-qt. slow cooker


Nutrition Information
  • Serving Size: 2 tacos & ¼ cup avocado salsa
  • Per Serving: 395 calories; 19 g fat(6 g sat); 7 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 60 mcg folate; 84 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,254 IU vitamin A; 55 mg vitamin C; 121 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 638 mg sodium; 880 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (92% daily value), Vitamin A (45% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 3 lean protein, 1½ fat, 1½ starch, ½ medium-fat protein, ½ vegetable

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