You’ve seen it on the Internet: get ready to make ’em at home.
Birria de Res:
- 1.5 lb chuck roast
- 10 dried chile pods, seeded and de-stemmed (I used guajillo, ancho, and arbol)
- 10 C water
- 2 tbsp chicken bouillon
- 1 cinnamon stick (canela)
- 5 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp agar agar powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 12 6″ fresh corn tortillas, plus more as needed
- 1 lb Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- oil, for frying
Birria de Res y Consomé
- Place a large stockpot or dutch oven over high heat. Drizzle in your olive oil and add the roast. Sprinkle some salt on top, let it sear for 2 minutes, then flip. Salt the other side.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add your chile pods, onion and garlic, then pour in the water.
- Stir in the chicken bouillon, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin seeds, peppercorns and the salt.
- Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Your burner will be somewhere around medium or medium-low. Cover and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chili pods from the liquid, along with about a cup of the liquid.
- Add the pods and liquid to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Place a sieve over the pot and pour in the blended chiles. Use a spatula or spoon to push the blended chiles through the sieve, into the pot. If your blender is super strong you can skip this step but if you’re unsure don’t – you don’t want bits of chile skin in your birria.
- Stir in the marjoram, oregano and tomato. Taste and add salt if needed. Cover and continue to cook until the meat is tender and starting to come apart at the marbling.
- Stir in your vinegar and agar powder. Let cook for another 45 minutes or so, until the meat breaks off easily with a fork.
- Remove the roast from the pot. You can place it in a high sided bowl and go at it with a hand mixer, or wooden spoon to shred it. You can also transfer it to a cutting board and chop it up with a knife or shred it with two forks.
- Now, pour the liquid in the pot through a sieve to remove the bay leaves, peppercorns, and any other aromatics. Once strained add the liquid back to the pot: you have consomé!
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle in just a bit of oil.
- Dip a tortilla into the consomé, submerging it completely. Place the tortilla on the skillet. Repeat and fit as many tortillas as you comfortably can.
- Sprinkle on your desired amount of cheese, directly onto the tortilla. Let cook for a couple of minutes, until the cheese has begun to melt.
- Add 1/3 of a cup or so of the birria to the taco. Use a spatula to fold one half of the tortilla over into a taco shape.
- Spoon a bit of consomé over the tacos, then flip them to fry on the other side. Cook until crisp, then remove.
- Repeat until you’ve made enough tacos to serve everyone (keep them warm in a 200ºF oven if needed). Dassit!
- Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.