A Mexican favorite that's delicious and satisfying
Birria de Res
3 pounds boneless chuck
1 to 2 lbs pound oxtail or short ribs
1 teaspoon neutral oil
7 ancho chiles (ends trimmed and de-seeded)
7 guajillo chiles (ends trimmed and de-seeded)
3 chiles de arbol (ends trimmed and de-seeded)
1 white onion (peeled and halved)
6 garlic cloves (peeled)
4 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 Mexican cinnamon stick (See note if not using Mexican cinnamon)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups beef broth or water (divided)
To sear the meat:
Bring the meat to room temperature, about 30 minutes, and then sprinkle liberally on all sides with kosher salt.
In a large Dutch oven (or a pot with an oven-proof lid), set over medium-high heat and add the neutral oil.
When hot, add the meat and sear on all sides until browned (you’ll have to do this in batches). Transfer to a bowl.
Your first step should focus on prep. E.g., Preheat to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
To make the sauce:
Meanwhile, in another medium pot, add the dried chiles, halved white onion, garlic cloves, tomatoes, spices, bay leaves.
Add cold water until it covers everything. Place over medium heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
Pour through a strainer and transfer everything (including the whole spices) to a blender. If your blender is small you may need to do this in batches.
Add the apple cider vinegar and about 1 cup of beef broth or water and blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add salt to taste (I added about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt).
To braise the meat:
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Add the meat back to the pot and pour the sauce over it.
To the blender, add the remaining 2 cups of broth or water and swish it around to pick up any leftover sauce and pour it into the pot.
Place over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer and then immediately cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours, until the meat is tender.