Soup and stew season is finally here. As the snow falls on top of the house, the season of slow cooking takes shape. As you have probably noticed, I have had a real craving for low and slow tacos as indicated in my pork tinga recipe, and recently I really wanted to turn up the heat a little bit, and go with a bit of beef. After going through my spice cabinet and pantry, I immediately knew what I was going to make. Birria.
Slow cooked meat with blended peppers, onions, tomatoes, and more. Birria is common to the central region of Mexico and is typically served at special events, including the holidays, birthdays, and weddings. So as this holiday is quickly approaching, I wanted to make the slow cooked Birria and serve it to my family however they wanted. They chose to go the route of tacos and nachos, while I liked my served with a bit of lime, and rice and beans. As the process takes a bit of time, the savoriness of this dish is well worth the time and little bit of effort.
- 2 lbs of top round, cut into large cubes
- 1 lb of pork tenderloin, cut into large cubes
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 4 dried ancho chiles
- 4 dried quallijo chiles
- 1 head of garlic, mashed with a bit of course salt
- 1 large onion, diced
- 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups of beef stock
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp dried Mexican Oregano
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Begin by adding oil to a large pot and bring up to a medium heat. Add in the cubed meat and brown in batches. During this time, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in the 8 dried peppers, covering, and removing from the heat. Let them steep for 20 minutes or so. Once you have the meat browned on all sides, place it in your slow cooker, or large dutch oven if you have it. Next, reserve one cup of the pepper water, and drain the rest of the peppers. Place your peppers in a blender, along with the one cup of reserved liquid, and blend to a puree. Add this to the top of the browned meat, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and slow cook on high for six hours, or longer. Before you are ready to serve, I removed the meat and quickly pulled it apart, well, it kind of just falls apart after the long cooking process. Add it back to the sauce, remove the bay leaves, and serve. You can plate, or serve in a bowl, eating with warm corn tortillas if you prefer. As noted, we were all over the board from making tacos, to adding to tortilla chips, to eating with rice and beans. Whichever route you go, you will be a winner in every scenario.