Beef Birria Tacos with Consommé
These are some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. Just think about your favorite taco and then for get about them. These will top them for sure. The meat is so tender and juicy, literally juicy. The juice drips out of each taco when you take a bite. You can make them with however much heat you want. They take quite a bit of time to make, but well worth it in the end. My advice is to turn on some music, have a drink or two, and dance while you wait for the meat too braise (check out my music page for cooking playlists). The braising liquid contains garlic, chilies, tomatoes, herbs and spices, which is then blended to become the consommé. The consommé on the side makes this the French dip of tacos and the perfect comfort food. This is easily my new favorite taco, what’s yours?
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 hours
5 lbs beef chuck roast, sliced into 5 equal parts
1 large white onion, sliced in half
1 head of garlic
18 cups of water
Kosher salt to taste
7-8 Guajillo or California chiles, remove stems and seeds
6 Chile de árbol optional
4 large Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 inch piece of Mexican canela
4 whole cloves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp peppercorns
2 bay leaves
In a large pot, add the beef, 1/2 onion, 1/2 head of garlic, two quarts of water, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil at medium heat. Skim fat off the top as needed. Reduce heat, cover, and continue cooking until the meat is tender (about 2 hours).
In a separate pot, add the dried chiles, remaining onion, four-six cloves of remaining garlic and four Roma tomatoes, Cover with water and bring to a boil at medium heat. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes.
Add the canela, cloves, thyme, oregano, marjoram, cumin seeds, and peppercorns to the pot with the tomatoes. Let sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth, strain out the liquid from pot with tomatoes, reserving 1/2 of the cooking water. Transfer all the ingredients including any spices that are in the strainer to the blender, including the cooking water that you reserved. Add two cups of the beef broth to the blender. Cover tightly and blend on high until smooth. Let sauce settle and then blend on high again for 40 to 50 seconds.
Remove the onion and garlic from the pot with beef and discard/compost. Using a fine wire strainer, strain the sauce from blender directly into the pot with the beef. Add the bay leaves. Cook partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours or until the beef shreds apart easily. Taste for salt along the way.
You can serve the birria two ways. Serve in bowls with plenty of consommé. Garnish with onion, cilantro, lime and spicy red salsa. Or you can prepare crispy birria tacos or quesadillas and serve the consommé on the side.