Although Mexican Birria is often associated with the state of Jailsco, the dish is enjoyed in many parts of Mexico. Birria is a traditional Mexican dish made with goat meat or mutton. However, other meats such as beef, veal, or pork can also be used. Birria is served as a stew or used as a taco filling and can most often be seen on the menu for weddings, baptisms, holidays, and other celebrations. Widely touted as a hangover cure, Mexican Birria is also frequently seen on brunch menus the day after celebrations.
Birria is often sold at Mexican street stands or small mom-and-pop cafes. Many people combine more than one meat in the same dish. You do need to plan ahead when making this Mexican Birria recipe, as the meat must marinate overnight for the best results.
- Dutch oven or casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid and internal rack
For the Chile Paste
- 4 guajillo chiles
- 3 ancho chiles
- 3 cascabel chiles
- 2 TB vinegar
For the Meat Rub
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme alternate: 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
For the Meat
- 3-4 lbs goat meat
- 1 cup water
- 1 med onion coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic diced
Make the Chile Paste
- Toast the chiles on a hot griddle over medium heat until browned but not burned
- Remove the seeds and veins. Place the chiles in a bowl. Cover them with very hot water for 15-20 minutes
- When chiles have rehydrated, drain them.
- Process the chiles and vinegar in a blender to make a paste
Make the Rub & Marinate the Meat
- In a small bowl, mix together all of the rub ingredients. Rub the meat well with this mixture
- Coat the meat with half of the chile paste
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate overnight in the refrigerator
Cook the Meat
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- Pour one cup of water into the Dutch oven or deep casserole dish
- Add coarsely chopped onion, bay leaves, diced garlic, and the remaining chili paste
- Place the meat on a rack that sits just above the water mixture
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven or casserole dish, making sure that it fits tightly, and bake for 4 hours.
Finish and Serve the Birria
- Remove the meat from the Dutch oven or casserole dish.
- Distribute the meat between 6-8 bowls
- Serve with broth as a soupy stew or as a saucy taco filling with corn tortillas
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