October 07, 2020 4 Comments
Last August I booked a trip to Mexico City. I immediately fell in love with the culture, people and of course the food. I ventured out to a few other states to experience the beautiful country. One of my favorite places I visited was Jalisco, the birthplace of birria. The spices recreates my experience in Mexico, from the smell and the robust flavors that can be created in your kitchen!
Birria (Serves 8)Ingredients:
4 pounds boneless lamb or goat meat
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Ancho chiles
6 Guajillo chiles
4 cups whole roasted tomatoes
4 whole cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon marjoram
1⁄2 medium-size white onion, sliced
1- in of stick of Ceylon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup white vinegar
Salt to taste
For the garnish:
2/3 cup chopped cilantro or 1/4 cup of dried oregano
2/3 cup chopped white onion
Season the meat with salt and pepper, then place in a large baking dish.
Clean and devein the peppers. Slightly toast them over a medium heat, making sure you do not burn them to avoid bitterness. Soak peppers in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes.
Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast the whole cloves, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns for about 30 seconds. Place them in your blender along with the roasted tomatoes, herbs, onion, cinnamon and the vinegar.
Once the chiles are soft, drain them, add to the blender and puree until you have a smooth sauce. If your blender is having a hard time processing it, add a few tablespoons of water or broth. Season the sauce with salt.
Pour the sauce over the meat, making sure it is covered all over with the salsa. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours to allow all the meat to absorb the flavors.
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the meat in the baking dish covered with the aluminum foil for about 4 hours or until it is fork-tender.
Slow cooking is also an option: cook the meat and sauce for 6-8 hours on high or 24 hours on low.
Serve the warm meat with its broth in bowls and garnish with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas and a hot salsa.
Stove top- Make the sauce as instructed above. Place meat in a large dutch oven or large pot and pour sauce over meat. Cover with lid and set on low heat. Cook for 1 hour. Check meat for tenderness. If meat needs additional time, add 1/4 cup chicken broth or water to avoid burning the bottom of the dutch oven or pot. Cook for an additional 20 mins or until fork tender.
Pressure cooker- Set on sautè setting, add oil. Season meat with salt and pepper. Sear meat on all sides. Remove the meat and add sauce. Place the meat back in the pressure cooker. Cook for 1 hour on MED setting. (I set it first for 1 hour and check tenderness. If still tough in the middle add an additional 1/4 cup of water to avoid burning as sauce is thick, cook for an additional 30 mins in the pressure cooker.) Let the pressure cooker release naturally once done.
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