A big bowl of Birria de Res, or Mexican Beef stew, is the ultimate comfort food. Deep robust flavors that will make your tastebuds very happy. Enjoy!
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. He collected every book or magazine he could get his hands on. Learning was my grandfather’s passion.
My grandfather was a violinist, an engineer, a writer, a man beyond his time. Eventually, he made his way to Durango, Mexico – where my family is from. 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 the US, I’m making this dish with beef. This is the way we make it in Durango. Other states have their versions.
Sear the meat on all sides to lock in the flavors. Mmm… imagine the smell! It’s Mexcellent! 😀
These chiles give good flavor to the Birria de Res.
Take the stems off and cut the chile lengthwise. Remove the veins and the seeds.
Reconstituting chiles means they have to soak in hot water. This does not take long. 5-10 minutes at the most.
Some people will strain the sauce. My mom is not much of a strainer. If you like a smoother sauce, then go for it. I like my mom’s version, and that’s what I’m going with.
The slow cooker is your friend in the kitchen. Set it on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. The meat will be tender and ready to eat. Birria de Res is typically served with raw diced onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and a dozen tortillas.
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. Big families. Big food. Lots of love (and tortillas).
- 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.