Traditional Birria is usually made with goat meat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birria), but this variation is made with beef.
- 3-4 lbs stew beef (Beef can be less tender cut because it will be cooked for until tender)
- 4 Guajillo chiles (Can substitute with ¼ teaspoon of ground guajillo chile for every whole chile)
- 3 Ancho chiles (Can substitute with ¼ teaspoon of ground ancho chile for every whole chile)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme or 2-3 sprigs
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Corn tortillas
Start Chile Paste: Toast the chiles on a hot pan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil until browned. Remove the seeds and veins and cover with hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. When done soaking, process in blender with the vinegar to make a paste.
Meat Rub: Mix the salt, cloves, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, garlic and thyme. Rub the meat well with this mixture. Then coat the meat with half of the chile paste. Let marinate overnight.
Cook the Meat: Sear the meat in a pot until browned, add water until meat is covered. Bring water to a rolling boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the chopped onion, bay leaf, garlic and the remaining chile sauce to the water. Place meat in pot and cover with lid. Simmer for 3 hours. (Check periodically to make sure liquid hasn’t evaporated too much). Meat should be tender and falling apart. Test with fork.
Prepare the Dish: Remove the meat and place into serving bowls. Pull the meat apart into strands (Similar to pulled pork) There are two ways to finish:
- The first way has no broth. Remove bay leaves from liquid. If liquid is too watery, reduce by boiling in a small pan. Coat the meat chunks with the reduced chile sauce. Use meat to fill tortillas and top with onions and cilantro.
- The second way is to let the liquid cool slightly and remove the bay leaves. At this point some people blend the liquid. Add enough hot water to make at least 2 cups. Ladle the liquid over the meat and top with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas and make yourself a Birria Taco!
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