Birria de Res reminds me of my maternal grandfather. He was born in a humble town in Zacatecas, Mexico – no neon signs, taxis or 7-11s. Like most Mexicans outside of the city, he didn’t have much of an education, but that didn’t stop him. My grandfather taught himself. He collected every book or magazine he could get his hands on (No Sports Illustrated …. That I know of). Learning was my grandfather’s passion. He was relentless in his pursuit of knowledge.
My grandfather became a violinist, an engineer, a writer, a man beyond his time. Eventually, he made his way to Durango, Mexico – the town where my family is from and where my father currently lives. Each time we visited my abuelito, we would eat Birria de Chivo, or Mexican Stew made with goat. Since goat is hard to find in this country, I’m making this dish with beef. Please know that this is the way we make it in Durango. Other states have their own versions.
Birria de Res screams celebration – birthday parties, Christmas, baby showers. It’s probably because you can make a HUGE pot of this delicious stew, and it feeds large Mexican families. My mom is one of 6 children, and my dad is one of 10 siblings who are currently living. Big families. Big food. Lots of love (and tortillas). Sear the meat on all sides to lock in the flavors. This baby will simmer for hours and hours with yummy spices. Mmm… imagine the smell! It’s Mexcellent! 😀
Both the beef and goat version of this dish are Mexican food classics. Both are amazingly delicious! A big bowl of Birria de Res is the ultimate comfort food. Hearty with deep, robust flavors that will make your tastebuds very happy. Served raw onions, cilantro, and lime. You can’t forget the tortillas and some chile de árbol salsa. iProvecho!
- 4 lbs roast beef
- 3-4 cups water
- 5 dried chile guajillo
- 2 dried chile ancho
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 clove
- ¼ whole cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 laurel leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the griddle, or pan.
- Toast the chiles on the griddle for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn frequently.
- Make sure they do not burn.
- If they burn, discard the chiles and start again.
- Once toasted, transfer to a heatproof bowl.
- Add 1 cup hot water and let the chiles soak for 10 minutes.
- Seed and devein the chiles, saving the water.
- Don’t worry if some seeds remain.
- Add the saved water, the chiles, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, thyme, clove, bouillon, salt and pepper in a blender.
- Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat two tablespoons oil.
- Add salt and pepper to the beef.
- Sear the beef on all sides.
- Once the meat is brown, transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the chile mixture.
- Add water enough to cover the meat.
- Set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
- Shred beef.
- Serve with diced onions, chopped cilantro, and tortillas.