Warm up with Mexican cuisine as days get colder

Few styles of cuisine are as widely beloved as Mexican cuisine. Many Mexican dishes include chipotle peppers. Smoked hot chili peppers, chipotle peppers can add spiciness to a meal for fans who can never get enough kick from their favourite Mexican dishes. The following recipe for “Chipotle Beef with Fresh Tomato Salsa” from Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss’ “Triple Slow Cooker Entertaining” (Robert Rose) packs a punch and won’t disappoint afficionados of Mexican cuisine.

Chipotle Beef with Fresh Tomato Salsa Makes 8 to 10 servings.

1 onion, thinly sliced 2 to 21⁄2-lb. beef brisket, well trimmed

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (see tip below)

1 tablespoon dry minced (granulated) garlic

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup tomato juice

1⁄4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Tomato salsa (see below)

Flour tortillas, warmed

Arrange onion slices in bottom of one slow cooker stoneware, overlapping as necessary. Cut brisket in half and place on top of onions. Sprinkle with chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin, and salt.

Pour tomato juice over top. Cover and cook on low for 9 to 11 hours or on high for 41⁄2 to 51⁄2 hours, until beef is very tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef and onions to a tray. Pour liquid into a deep bowl. Using two forks, shred beef.

Return beef and onions to the stoneware. Skim fat from liquid and pour over beef mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Turn to warm for serving.

To serve, spoon beef mixture and salsa into centre of each warm tortilla, then fold tortilla over filling.

Tip: Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers and are often found canned in adobo sauce. Use one for this recipe, then freeze the rest in an airtight container for up to 6 months. For even more convenience, separate the peppers and place in a single layer on a tray, topped with a little adobo sauce; freeze until firm, then transfer each pepper to a sealable freezer bag. You can then use just the amount you need for each recipe. Tomato Salsa Makes 3 cups 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped 2 green onions, sliced 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro Juice of 1 lime Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste In a bowl, combine tomatoes, green onions, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one day. (MCC)