When it comes to Birria Tacos it is difficult to know where to begin. I have always loved tacos and have slowly incorporated more authentic flavors with the dish. Birria tacos were introduced during my honeymoon in Sonoma, California back in August. When we went up to the little shack on the outskirts of town, I was not sure what to expect. After my husband eloquently spoke Spanish to order and we both grabbed drinks out of this fridge (that 100% was a deli fridge from a grocery store), we went outside to sit at the picnic table and waited for the feast. The Birria tacos came out dripping with consommé, topped with light scatterings of cilantro, onion, and cheese. Even after a few days of wining and dining at the best restaurants in California wine country, we both said these Birria tacos were one of the best things we’ve ever tasted. I still dream of these tacos, and the experience inspired us to try replicating this delicious dish at home!
Today we made Birria de Res using a Washington Post recipe but adding a few additional steps to make them tacos. This recipe can actually be eaten as a stew with rice & beans or the meat added to a fried corn tortilla for an amazing flavor. Either way this was a gem and a stepping stone to more delicious Mexican cooking.
I really enjoyed our dinner tonight and hope you enjoyed reading about it!
- 10 large (2 1/2 ounces total) dried guajillo chiles (about 5 1/2 inches long), stemmed and seeded (may substitute ancho or pasilla)
- 2 (1 ounce total) ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 8 cups water, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 5 pounds beef loin tri-tip roast, fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 6 Corn tortillas
- 1/4 pound Oaxaca cheese
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the guajillos, anchos and enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chiles are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chiles to the jar of a blender. Add 1 cup of the chiles’ cooking liquid, the vinegar, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, oregano, cumin and salt. Secure the cover tightly, put a kitchen towel over the top of the blender and blend until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is your adobo. Pour it into Dutch Oven and let it cool completely.
When the adobo is cool, add the beef and ensure all meat is coated. Add bay leaf and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the meat marinates, the more flavor it will have.
Day Of Cooking
Take Dutch Oven with meat and adobo and stir in 8 cups of water, really scraping the bottom of the pot to ensure the no meat is stuck to the bottom.
Bring the meat and liquid to a boil over high heat uncovered. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the meat is cooked through and shreds easily, 2 to 3 hours.
Remove the meat (and any bones) and set aside.
Taste, and adjust the salt in the birria liquid as needed. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Let the birria liquid continue to cook down uncovered for 1 hour. Shred up the meat and add back into liquid for another 30 minutes or until you are ready to build the tacos.
Heat up cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Take a fresh tortilla and dunk in the broth completely. From there, place tortilla in a cast iron skillet to brown .
Top with shredded cheese (preferably oaxaca cheese) and cook until just melted.
Take off heat and add the shredded meat onto the whole tortilla
Serve with a ramekin filled with consomme topped with diced onions and chopped cilantro.