Recipe by Aiden Pienaar

by Tia

Serves: 4–6


  • canola oil for frying
  • 2kg whole beef brisket, bone in
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup beef spice rub
  • 12–15 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh coriander for garnishing

Beef spice rub

This spice rub was inspired by my two years working in Dubai. The Middle East taught me how to use spices in the right way, to get maximum benefit from them. While there are a lot of different spices in this rub, it is worth it. You can premix the rub without the olive oil and store it in an airtight container for up to a month.

MAKES ½ cup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mix the sugar and spices with the olive oil in a small bowl.

Enchilada Sauce

Makes: 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli flakes
  • 6 dried curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 x 410g can tomato purée
  • ½ cup double cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon origanum
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic, turmeric, chilli flakes and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further 30 seconds. Make sure the spices don’t burn. When you can smell the beautiful curry aroma, add the tomato purée, cream, salt, pepper, origanum and sugar.
  3. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes. If it’s looking too dry, add a tablespoon of water during cooking. The sauce should have the viscosity of a thin soup. Remove the curry leaves before using.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. On the stovetop, heat a little canola oil in a heavy-based ovenproof pot over medium heat.
  3. Season the beef brisket with salt and black pepper and place it into the pot. Brown it on all sides until a deep golden colour, then remove the beef from the pot and rub it all over with the spice rub. Return the beef to the pot and add some water to cover about a quarter of the brisket.
  4. Put on the lid and place the pot in the oven for 2.5–3 hours, checking the water level every 30 minutes. Top up with a little more water if needed. The beef brisket is cooked when you can pull out the bone and it comes out clean.
  5. When cooked, transfer the beef brisket to a tray to cool slightly.
  6. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat and reduce the liquid until thick. While the sauce reduces, shred the beef into a bowl. When thickened, strain the sauce through a sieve into the bowl with the shredded beef. Mix gently and check for seasoning.
  7. Reheat the oven to 180ºC.
  8. Place a tortilla onto a flat surface. Place a healthy amount of shredded beef in a line in the centre of the tortilla, then roll it up like a pancake to encase the filling completely. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  9. Place the rolled tortillas into an ovenproof dish, seam-side down, in a single layer. Spoon over the enchilada sauce, spreading it evenly to cover the tortillas. Mix the cheeses and distribute evenly over the sauce.
  10. Bake for 20–25 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Garnish with fresh coriander.

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