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 and oregano. 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.