Living nearly 25 years in Texas, I picked up on a number of Mexican traditions. Here’s one to take the chill out of your bones on a brisk winter day, Birria de Res, which basically means, spicy beef stew. Birria is typically made with goat meat, but Birria de Res uses beef.
Birria de Res
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 1 white onion
- 1 C white vinegar
- 5lbs beef, fat trimmed off
- 16 ozs tomato sauce
- 4 guajillo chili peppers
- 4 poblano peppers
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander
- cumin powder (to taste)
- oregano powder (to taste)
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 cloves
- salt (to taste)
To begin, make a marinade for the meat. Start by peeling the garlic cloves for use in the preparation.
Also, peel the onion and chop half into irregular pieces to facilitate the work of the blender. Reserve the other half of the onions.
Then, add the garlic cloves and the onion pieces to a blender and process them with the vinegar, a touch of salt, half a tablespoon of ground cumin, and half of the ground pepper.
Blend until mixture becomes a paste.
Cut the meat, with some bone and fat, into medium-sized pieces and place into a pot. Add the paste or marinade and mix well.
Allow the meat to rest for half an hour.
Meanwhile, boil some water. Simultaneously, clean and skin the chili peppers. Then, remove the water from the heat and submerge the chilis for a few minutes. Peppers will turn from dark green to an olive color.
Next, put the chilis in the blender with some of the juice from the meat marinade, a couple of teaspoons of oregano, and a touch of salt and of pepper. Blend until smooth.
Add the preparation to a saucepan with the meat and heat, allowing it to cook over low heat for 4 hours. The meat should soften nearly to pieces.
Now, chop the reserved half of the onion into small cubes. Wash the coriander well and allow to soak in water with a splash of vinegar. After draining, chop the leaves.
Reserve the cilantro and onion in the refrigerator for use when serving.
After cooking, serve the beef birria with its broth, hot, or drain the meat and make some taquitos with some corn tortillas. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and onion over the top.
TIPS FOR THE PREPARATION OF BEEF BIRRIA
To intensify the flavor of certain ingredients, you can quickly cook them on a hot skillet or griddle before using them for this recipe. Those ingredients are cumin powder, oregano, cloves, and pepper. Be sure to do it over low heat so they don’t burn or blacken.
Some recipes incorporate a little beer into the sauce to cook the meat. The result is delicious.
If you do not have tomato sauce, you can replace it with tomato in pieces.
Accompany your birria with a good red sauce or a green sauce, and some quartered lemons.
Photo: Flickr with Creative Commons License, by Jeff Krammer