Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

I have a special place in my heart for southern food and flavors. Until I can convince my wife to try pulled pork (she won’t be able to fight it forever once we’re in North Carolina!), I have to find other ways to quell my cravings. This is such a dish. My thinking? Fried chicken and waffles are a beautiful combo…same goes for meat and potatoes… so why not serve pulled beef (instead of pork) over sweet potato waffles?

Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

Now I know this one sounds strange, but this was incredible. This begins by making a barbecue sauce where the big players are chiles, tomatoes, and tamarind–fruity, earthy, spicy, sweet, sour–there’s a lot of flavor going on. The tamarind flavor was distinctly present, but not overpoweringly so while the chiles gave a very solid flavor backbone to the sauce. The brisket is then braised in the sauce for hours, pulled and shredded, and tossed in the sauce. Finally, this is piled on top of a sweet potato waffle, which had great color, a bit of tanginess (from sour cream), and tremendous flavor. Plus, these waffles are the perfect vessel to ensure no sauce or juiciness escapes your fork.

  • ~3 lb beef brisket
  • Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce
    • 1 head garlic
    • 6 pasilla chiles
    • 8 guajillo chiles
    • 2 chile de arbol
    • 1.5 tsp oregano
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • 2 cup chicken broth
    • salt to taste
    • 1 shallot
    • 1/2 block pressed tamarind (~3.5 oz)
    • 14 oz canned tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup molasses
    • Optional: 1/8-1/4 cup honey
  • Sweet Potato Waffles
    • 3 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup mashed baked sweet potatoes
    • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
    • 6 large eggs

Pan roast the garlic cloves still in paper

The first thing you need to prepare is the sauce. Break up a head of garlic but don’t peel the paper off of the cloves. Add these to a medium-high heat, dry pan, roasting for about 15 minutes, flipping periodically. Don’t worry if the paper blackens in spots. When time is up, remove from the pan, allow to cool a bit, and squeeze the garlic out of the paper.

A mix of dried chiles such as pasilla and guajillo

While this is going on, toast the stemmed, seeded, dry chiles in the same dry pan. Press them firmly down in the pan for 10-15 seconds on both sides and then reconstitute in warm water for roughly 30 minutes. Stir periodically to ensure all chilies soak well.

Strain the chili paste

Drain off the water and puree the spices, rehydrated chiles, garlic, and 1 cup of broth in a food processor until blended to a fine paste. Push this through a strainer.

In a hot pan, warm up 1.5 Tbsp vegtable oil. Fry the very finely minced shallot for 3 minutes in the oil, and then, carefully add the chili paste, constantly stirring and frying for roughly 7 minutes.

Simmer the barbecue sauce

In parallel with all of this, work on the tamarind paste. Boil a 1/2 cup of water, add the broken up tamarind, cover the pot, and remove from heat. After 20 minutes, press through a ricer and reserve this paste.

So with tamarind paste ready and the chili paste fried, add the tamarind paste to the pot along with the tomato, molasses, and remaining 1 cup of broth. Adjust seasoning to taste and simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.

Brown the seasoned brisket on all sides

With the sauce ready, on to the beef. Season all sides with salt, pepper, and a dash of allspice. Then, brown on all sides for roughly 2 minutes each. With that done, deglaze the pan with the barbecue sauce and submerge the beef. Raise to a boil, cover the pot, and transfer to a 350°F oven for 3 hours, flipping the beef once halfway through.

Beef, tender after braising, submerged in the bbq sauce

When time is up, you may have a bit of fat pooled on top of the sauce. Do your best to skim this off, remove the beef from the pot, and reduce the sauce for 5-10 minutes.

Pull and shred the beef

Once the beef is cool enough for you to handle, cut against the grain in a few places and then go at it with two forks to shred the meat.

Now, taste the barbecue sauce. If you want to balance it with a touch of sweetness, add 1/8-1/4 cup of honey and simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Finally, toss the shredded beef in a good bit of the sauce, reserving some for use on the side or as a garnish.

Beat the mashed, roasted sweet potatoes in the waffle batter

During the later stages of cooking the beef, you should concern yourself with preparing the sweet potato waffles (cooking the actual waffles is something you should do at the last possible moment, though). Begin by cooking the sweet potatoes, whether it be by boiling or roasting them. I split mine in half, rubbed with oil, and roasted in a 400°F over for about 45 minutes (or until fork tender), after which, I discarded the skin. However you cook yours, mash/puree the cooked sweet potato and set it aside to cool down.

In one bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients (except for the sugar). In another, beat the egg yolks and sugar until lightened in color. Then, beat in the milk, sour cream, mashed sweet potato, and melted butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Make the sweet potato waffles

Mix the dry bowl into the wet bowl, stirring only as much as is necessary to incorporate–do not overbeat! Then, gently fold in the egg whites. Finally, cook the waffles according to whatever is appropriate for your waffle maker.

Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

Finally, with the waffles ready and the beef shredded, promptly pile some beef on a freshly made waffle, add a bit of sauce, and dig in. Enjoy!

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22 Responses to “Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce”

  1. Joan Nova Says:

    Sweet potato waffles – wow! Great post and photography, as usual.

  2. RecipeGirl Says:

    Well, yes… that does sound rather strange in a wonderful sort of way!!

  3. Hélène Says:

    Another beautiful meal.

    Hope the baby is doing well.

  4. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    This is a winner, for combination of tastes, color, texture. I don’t think it sounds weird at all — barbecue and sweet potatoes, who doesn’t love it?!

  5. Heather Says:

    are you kidding me?! sweet potato waffles?? i think i love you.

  6. Bunny Says:

    This is very different Mike, I never would have thought od this, but then that’s why you are a better cook than I am!

  7. mikky Says:

    how creative!!! wife & baby are really lucky… hope their doing great… :)

  8. Jeff Says:

    No smoker no care….hehehehehhe j/k brother.

    Sounds like an amazing dish full of great flavor and how could you go wrong with sweet potatoes. I never would have thought of turning them into waffles so to you guinnessguysbrilliant.jpg

  9. Anali Says:

    Those waffles look so good!!! I hope you and your family are doing well. Hopefully you’re all getting some sleep. : D

  10. shayne Says:

    oh the beef sounds great. have to make sweet potato pancakes left my waffle iron in michigan.

  11. Dragon Says:

    I love the idea of sweet potato waffles. :)

  12. Toni Says:

    You had me at the sweet potato waffles…..;-)

    Any brisket braised for hours is going to be good. But add tamarind? Oh yeah!

  13. the caked crusader Says:

    Meanie! That first photo has made me drool….and now I can’t stop looking at the photo……drool……

  14. grace Says:

    as a southerner, i know i’m supposed to love fried chicken and waffles, but i don’t. this, on the other hand, i don’t have enough love for. bravo!

  15. The Duo Dishes Says:

    Once you say sweet potato, you’ve got us. Love this!

  16. dawn Says:

    Oh man Mike, I mean come on, this is a masterpiece of flavor-combinations! Well done!

  17. cinzia Says:

    Mike, nice to meet you!
    I come along from Joan’s Foodalogue.
    Very great idea potato waffle, a plus good reason to buy wafle maker, I still miss it!

  18. rooshk Says:

    Both the beef and the waffles sound great, but I’m not sure these two should every meet each other in the same meal. However, each is good on its own.

  19. Mark Garso Says:

    Sweet potato waffles – what a fabulous idea! Never thought of a beef similar in style to pulled pork. This has possiblity for the entire family!

    Mark Garso 2328

  20. This Week’s Best Food Post (IMO) - FOODalogue Says:

    [...] multi-lane highway up there. It’s rush-hour traffic 24-7.  Without further ado, I think Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with Chili Tamarind BBQ Sauce from Mike’s Table would have made it to the finals even if I had a month’s posts to [...]

  21. Whatcha Buildin? » Blog Archive » Chile Tamarind BBQ Brisket & Sweet Potato Waffles: A Better Combination Than You Might Think Says:

    [...] This recipe, from Mike’s Table, was something I ran across and just knew i had to try. It is akin to the first thought of friend chicken and waffles. The idea seems weird at first but works surprisingly well. The BBQ sauce is a bit spicy and the tamarind is a bit sour and it makes a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the waffles. [...]

  22. How to Win On QuBids Says:

    Good blog with some interesting information. I will be back.

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