An Inside Look at Healthy Living...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Beef Birria

Beef Birria

(Stewed Meat for Tacos, Burritos and Tostadas)

Courtesy of The Spruce

What You'll Need 

  • For the Chile Paste:
  • guajillo chiles
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 3 cascabel chiles
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • For the Meat Rub:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme or 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • For the Meat:
  • 3 to 4 pounds goat meat, mutton, beef, veal, and/or pork, with or without bones
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • For the Garnish:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped onion

How to Make It 

Make the Chile Paste
  1. Toast the chiles on a hot griddle or skillet over medium heat until browned, but not burned.
  2. Remove the seeds and veins, then place the chiles in a bowl and cover them with very hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. When chiles have rehydrated, drain them.
  4. Process chiles and vinegar in a blender to make a paste.
Make the Meat Rub 
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, cloves, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and thyme.
  1. Rub the meat well with this mixture.
Marinate the Meat
  1. Coat the meat with half of the chile paste.
  2. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Cook the Meat
  1. Pour the water into a Dutch oven or deep casserole dish and add the coarsely chopped onion, bay leaves, diced garlic and the remaining chile paste.
  2. Place meat on a rack that sits just above the water mixture. Place lid on the pot, making sure that it covers tightly, and bake for 4 hours at 350 F (176 C).
Finish and Serve the Birria
  1. Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and distribute it among 6 to 8 bowls.
  2. Finish the birria and serve with broth (as a soupy stew) or as a saucy taco filling with corn tortillas.
Brothy Birria Variation
  1. After removing the meat from the Dutch oven, let the liquid cool slightly and remove the bay leaves.
  2. The broth can be left as is or it can be blended into a smooth sauce.
  3. Add enough hot water to the broth to make at least 2 cups. Ladle the liquid over the meat and top with chopped cilantro and onion. Serve with a spoon and warm corn tortillas.
Saucy Birria Variation
  1. After removing the meat from the Dutch oven, remove the bay leaves from the liquid. If liquid is watery, reduce it by boiling in a small pan to thicken.
  2. Break the meat into chunks and coat them with the reduced liquid. Fill warm corn tortillas with the filling and top with chopped onions and cilantro.
-Edited by Robin Grose