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Mind-Blowingly Tender Short Rib Birria (Birria de Res con Consomé)

Birria is the perfect braised dish. It's juicy, it's tender, and it's a lil bit spicy. All the chilis we use mellow out and turn the braising liquid into something extremely special. Mk and I had a favorite taco place in Dallas called Del Sur, and they had the absolute best birria tacos I'd ever had. After having them, all other versions tasted really disappointing in comparison. These are the only ones that have come close, and it took a ton of iterating to get here. Serve this in a bowl or as Quesabirria tacos; you're gonna be happy either way.

 

Prep Time: Cook Time: Serves:

30 Minutes 3 Hours 3 - 4 Servings





Ingredients

3.5-4lb bone in short rib

3 guajillo

3 New Mexico chiles

2 arbol chiles

2 chipotle

2 cascabel

1 ancho

3g grams sesame seed

1 white onion

4 tomatoes

6-8 cloves garlic

Beef stock (BTB)

Cumin, coriander, oregano, clove, ginger, salt, pepper

Bay leaf

White vinegar

For tacos

Lime

Corn tortillas

Diced white onion/ cilantro

Oaxacan cheese



Step 1: Make Chili Sauce

Put a pot of water on the stove to begin boiling. I usually use about 1 liter or less here, but the amount doesn’t matter too much as we’ll leave the simmering water in the pot after softening the chilis. Remove the stems and seeds from your chilis and set them aside for now. The veggies are also going to simmer with the chilis to soften, so let’s prep those as well. Chop your tomatoes into quarters, and do the same with 1 small white onion. Remove the outside paper from the garlic and set it with everything else. With the water boiling, add your chilis and veggies in then cover them with a lid and turn off the heat. Let these sit and soften for about 8 minutes. This will allow us to smoothly blend the chilis without them turning bitter.

Once the 8 minutes are up, add your solids into a blender along with 3g of toasted sesame seed and 2 chipotles from a can of chipotle in adobo. Add fresh water as needed if the mix is too dry. Blend this until smooth then strain your chili sauce into a container.


Step 2: Brown The Beef

Season around 3.5lb of short rib with salt and set that aside while preheating a large pot over medium. Once the pan is hot, add in a little olive oil and the begin searing your short ribs in batches. Do this in batches if your pot can’t hold all of the pieces in one layer.


Step 3: Braise The Birria

With all of the meat browned, turn the heat to low and add in all the chili base from earlier. Keep all of the fat from the beef in here as that’s important later. Before adding back the meat, season this with cumin, coriander, oregano, clove, ginger, salt, pepper. Some people add cinnamon and leave out the ginger, but I prefer it this way because it’s less sweet. If you have the whole spices, that’s great, you can add them into a lil spice bag then fish them out later, but I don’t bother with that. Add a splash of white vinegar, and then you can add in a bay leaf. Don’t worry, we’ll fish it out later.

Add your meat back and then bring this to a simmer. I also recommend adding a small spoonful of Beef Better Than Bouillon along with enough water to almost cover the meat. Once simmering, cover this and place it in a 325f oven so it can braise for at least two and a half hours. This time is going to do a ton of magical things. The chilis will get sweeter and hotter, milder and richer all at the same time. Check on the tenderness of the meat at the two and a half hour mark just to see where it is. If it isn’t tender, don’t worry, just pop it in for a little more time. This is not a dish you can rush, so be sure you’ve given yourself ample time.


At about 3 hours, the meat should fall apart, so you can pull it from the oven. Remove the meat from the pan and then set your pot on the stover over low. Let the meat cool and adjust the taste and final texture of the consomé. This is up to you, and it could range anywhere from 100ml to 500ml depending on how much this reduced in the oven. You want this to be a soup like texture; not too thick is good. This is also going to need a big pinch of salt to bring out all the flavor. If for some reason, your broth tastes bitter, add salt, lime and honey until it's balanced. With the meat cooled, simply remove any large unwanted pieces of fat along with the connective tissue around where the bones were. Mix all the good shredded meat with a few spoons of the consomé and taste to confirm the salt levels. This would be perfect as is in a bowl with some rice and beans, but the classic quesabirria taco is pretty unbeatable.


Step 4: Make Tacos (Optional)

If you opt for tacos, you'll need to mince a white onion and mix it with chopped cilantro. You'll also need corn tortillas and shredded Oaxacan cheese. To a skillet that’s hot over medium heat, add in your tortillas to begin slightly warming through. No need to get any color on these, you just need them a little more malleable. Once warmed, dunk each of the tortillas through that red fat layer at the top of the consomé and then place them back in the skillet. That fat is going to make the tortilla super extra flavorful, and it also allows the outside to fry up and become crispy. Add a little oaxacan cheese on top of each one and then top each one with some of the tender meat. Close them up and let them fry on each side until the cheese is gooey and the outsides are crunchy. You can continue spooning on the consomé if they look like they could use it, but be sure that the tortillas aren’t becoming soggy. Remove these from the pan once the outer shells have become crisp and serve them with the onions, cilantro, lime, and a side of consomé for dipping. These are definitely some of the best tacos around, and you're gonna be very happy you made them.


Cheers!

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Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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