Making Birria de Res at home is an easy way to pump up the flavor quotient for any number of celebrations. Try this trendy authentic Mexican recipe that can be eaten as either new-world tacos or old-world stew.
Chihuahua, Oaxaca, or Monterey jack cheese, shredded (optional for quesatacos)
In a slow cooker add water, beef chunks (cut into 4-inch cubes), onion, garlic, salt, black peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, marjoram, mint, and thyme (if using).
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Remove the beef and shred the meat and discard fat pieces. Season to taste. Place shredded meat back in the slow cooker with broth.
Red Chile Sauce
Remove stems, seeds, and veins from the chile pods. Place in a colander and rinse well with cool water.
Add chiles, garlic, onion, and water to a large pot. Bring water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the chiles over with tongs to make sure the chiles soften evenly. Allow time to cool down before blending. Do not discard water.
Once cooled, place the chiles, garlic, onion, and liquid in blender with salt. Blend until smooth. If necessary, season with more salt. Strain sauce through a fine sieve into the slow cooker and stir. Discard skins and seeds.
Serve in a bowl as a stew with diced onion, radishes, and fresh cilantro and serve with corn tortillas.
Heat a comal (cast iron griddle) over medium-low heat.
Dip the tortillas one at a time in the consommé. Place on the comal and top with cheese if making quesatacos (cheese birria tacos). Add shredded beef over half the tortilla and chopped cilantro and onion. Drizzle the beef with a little more consommé.
When the cheese is melted, fold each tortilla in half. Cook, flipping halfway through, until browned and slightly crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve tacos garnished with additional diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges, and small bowls of warm consommé for dipping.
Keep warm: Transfer the tacos to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat assembling and cooking the remaining tacos.
Make ahead: The red chile sauce can be made in advance and kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Red chile sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to six months.
For leftovers: As with most soups and stews, birria de res does beautifully in the fridge, making it a perfect recipe for your meal prep day. Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Nutrition facts do not include any toppings, cheese, or tortillas.