Recipe courtesy of SLAB BBQ & Beer

El Jefe

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 hr (includes resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
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1/4 cup sea salt

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

One 5- to 7-pound brisket flat (use Choice or a higher grade)


One 2-pound block fast-melting white American cheese, such as Land O Lakes Extra Melt, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Three 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles

2 cups whole milk


2 white onions, julienne-cut

2 green peppers, julienne-cut

2 red peppers, julienne-cut

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic


12 to 15 buns, such as challah or jalapeno-Cheddar buns

Your favorite BBQ sauce, warmed, for serving

Pickled jalapenos, for serving

Corn chips, such as Fritos, for serving, optional


Special equipment:
a smoker
  1. For the brisket: Preheat a smoker for smoking at 275 degrees F. (Don't beat yourself up trying to maintain the exact temperature. Stay within 25 degrees of your target, and you should be good.)
  2. Mix together the salt and pepper in a bowl, then rub it all over the brisket. Smoke brisket until it reaches 165 degrees F, about 8 hours. Wrap with foil and continue to smoke until internal temperature reaches 203 degrees F and the thermometer slides in and out of the brisket like it was butter, about 2 hours more.
  3. Let rest for at least 1 hour.
  4. Chop the brisket.
  5. For the queso: Set up a double boiler. Add the cheese, diced tomatoes and chiles and milk to the upper pan of the double boiler. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, until cheese is fully melted.
  6. For the veggies: Mix the onions and peppers in a bowl. Toss with oil, pepper, salt and granulated garlic. Cook veggies in a saute pan, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until veggies are translucent.
  7. For the sandwiches: Toast buns. Add BBQ sauce to each half. Add nice handfuls of the chopped brisket to bottom buns. Add a little more of the BBQ sauce on top of the meat. Add queso, veggies and jalapenos to your desired heat. Add corn chips for a crunchy treat, if desired. Top with top buns.