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Birria a la Mexicana

This is a warm hug in a bowl, also known as birria. It’s such a nice, tasty, and cozy dish, and what’s better is that it can be served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

A personal connection is having birria on Sundays at my abuelita’s (grandma’s) house. Picture more than 20 family members together, laughing and eating this meat stew. My grandma used to say birria is the best hangover cure (and it’s true!). Eating birria on a Sunday morning is like hugging your stomach, a warm and spicy hug
from within.

There are many different recipes for birria. This one is a birria a la mexicana. All of them use a combination of dried peppers and herbs. Some cooks will add beer or pulque instead of vinegar. Some also add a little piece of ginger. The way this dish is usually served is in a bowl (similar to a soup) and garnished with chopped onion and cilantro or oregano. The meat is also served as tacos. You can even make it in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker (cooking times will vary depending on the cooking method).

Do not be afraid of changing the protein of this dish. You can mix and match, and I promise it’s going to be amazing!

<span-key>2-4 lb</span-key><span-value>beef (your choice, boneless or bone-in, and you can mix meats, use chicken, or try other types of protein)</span-value><span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Salt and pepper to taste</span-value><span-key>3</span-key><span-value>ancho peppers</span-value><span-key>6</span-key><span-value>guajillo peppers</span-value><span-key>½</span-key><span-value>medium white onion, sliced</span-value><span-key>4</span-key><span-value>cloves of garlic</span-value><span-key>4</span-key><span-value>whole cloves</span-value><span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>cumin seeds</span-value><span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>black peppercorns</span-value><span-key>2</span-key><span-value>large roasted tomatoes</span-value><span-key>1 tsp</span-key><span-value>oregano</span-value><span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>marjoram</span-value><span-key>1 inch</span-key> <span-value>stick of cinnamon</span-value><span-key>½ cup</span-key><span-value>white vinegar</span-value><span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Salt to taste</span-value><h4>Garnish</h4><span-key>⅔ cup</span-key><span-value>chopped cilantro or ¼ cup of dried oregano</span-value><span-key>⅔ cup</span-key> <span-value>chopped white onion</span-value><span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Lime wedges</span-value>

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Ingredients
Directions

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<span-p>
Season the meat with salt and pepper, then place in a large baking dish.
Clean and devein the peppers. Slightly toast them over medium heat. Soak in a cup of hot water.
Roast the onion and garlic, and place in your blender.
Toast the whole cloves, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns. Place them in your blender along with the roasted tomatoes, herbs, onion, cinnamon, and vinegar.
Once peppers are soft, drain and add to the blender, then puree until you have a smooth sauce.
Season the sauce with salt. Pour the sauce over the meat, making sure the meat is covered all over with the salsa.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
Put everything in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on the low setting.
OR preheat the oven to 350℉/170℃. Bake the meat in the baking dish covered with the aluminum foil for about 4 hours or until it is fork-tender.
OR for the Instant Pot, cook meat on the manual setting for 45 minutes.
Check meat tenderness. If it is easy to shred, then you are set to go. But if the meat is still a little hard to shred, extend the cooking time.
Serve the warm meat with its broth in bowls, and garnish with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas and/or hot salsa.
Any leftover birria will be great the next day to make quesadillas or tacos. </span-p>

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I deeply treasure that time around the table with my kids and loved ones. In our household, our kitchen table is a gathering place to share a meal, enjoy each other’s company, reflect on the day and laugh together.

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