|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||30%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||27%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 32mg||159%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Birria is a traditional Mexican dish that originates in the states of Jalisco, Aguascalientes, and Zacatecas. It starts with a braised meat, traditionally in some regions goat or lamb, in other regions, beef. The meat goes in the tortillas, and they're served with the braising liquid, called consomé (not to be confused with a classic French consommé). Birria tacos are a very common breakfast remedy for a hangover, but of course they are delicious any time of the day.
Lately, birria de res (beef) tacos have become popular throughout the U.S. There are a couple of different ways to make them, but in this method you'll make the birria, then dip the tortillas in the consomé before filling them with the stewed beef.
"These tacos were delicious with the flavorful consomé. There were several steps, but it was an easy recipe overall. I used my Instant Pot to cook the beef and it was tender and shredded easily. If you don't have a high-speed blender to purée the chili pepper and whole spice mixture you might need to strain it." —Diana Rattray
For the adobo
6 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried morita chiles
2 dried pasilla chiles
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 whole bay leaves
1 small (5 grams) cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 allspice berries
1 whole avocado leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 4 large pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the consomé
5 plum tomatoes
1/4 medium white onion
1 clove garlic
12 corn tortillas
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
4 limes, cut into quarters
Steps to Make It
Make the adobo
Gather the ingredients.
Heat a cast iron pan or griddle on medium-high heat. Cut off the stems from the chiles and remove the seeds and veins. Roast the chiles for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until toasted, but not burned.
Reserve the chiles in a bowl. Add hot water to the bowl to cover completely. Cover with a lid or plastic cling wrap, and let soak for 20 minutes.
Carefully move the soaked chiles with tongs into a blender along with the vinegar and about 1/2 cup of the water. Blend into a purée. Add more water if needed to get a smooth puree.
Heat the pan or griddle over medium-high heat again and add the spices and herbs. Toast, stirring occasionally, until they release their aromas, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan's contents to make sure nothing burns. Add to the chile puree in the blender and puree everything together.
Place the meat in a large bowl and pour the puree over it. Coat the meat completely with the puree on all sides. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator; let marinate at least 8 hours or overnight.
After marinating, place 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, then add the meat with the chile puree and a tablespoon of salt. Pressure cook for 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, you could cook the meat in a large pot on the stove. Bring the pot to a simmer, lower to medium-low and cover, and cook for 3 hours.
The cooked meat should be very tender. Remove the meat from the broth and break apart into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the both.
Make the consomé
Gather the ingredients.
Heat a cast iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the pan and toast until they are charred on all sides, turning as needed.
Place the roasted vegetables into a blender or food processor and blend into a puree. Strain and add the puree to the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Build the tacos
Using tongs, dip each tortilla into the hot consomé and then fill with approximately 3 tablespoons of the meat. Place on a dish and continue with each tortilla.
Serve with a small bowl of consomé for each person, along with white onion, chopped cilantro, and lime slices for garnish.
Handle chiles with caution
Take care to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chiles. Some people use gloves or wrap their hands in plastic bags to protect themselves. Oils from the chiles can irritate your eyes and nose if you handle chiles and then absentmindedly touch your face.
- Instead of roasting the tomatoes on the stovetop, you may grill them, broil them, or char them over a gas burner.
- Avocado leaves have a mild licorice flavor and may be found in Mexican grocery stores and on the Internet. If you must substitute, use a bay leaf and a dash of cracked anise seeds.
- For a simple shortcut, replace the whole tomatoes with a 14.5-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes (undrained).
If you like birria tacos and quesadillas, try quesabirria.
- Melt a shredded stick of string cheese or Oaxaca cheese on a pan over medium heat.
- Dip a tortilla into the consomé and place over the melted cheese.
- Flip, with the cheese, and fill with beef.
- Fold and cook each side until crispy. Garnish as desired.
How to Store Leftover Birria
Refrigerate leftover birria meat and consomé separately in an airtight containers within 2 hours, and eat within 4 days.
Is birria consomé the same as French consommé?
Consomé for birria tacos is a broth made from puréed vegetables and the birria cooking stock and may be somewhat thick. It is used as a dip for birria tacos. French consommé is a clear soup made from a rich stock that has been clarified.