Recipe courtesy of Nopalito

Birria De Res

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 9 hr 50 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings


Birria Adobo:



For serving:


  1. For the birria adobo: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, combine the garlic, sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, peppercorns, cloves, ginger, cumin and bay leaves. Bake until the sesame seeds are lightly browned (but not blackened) and the spices are lightly toasted and aromatic, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, cover the chiles with boiling water; let sit until softened, about 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the spices, chiles (reserve the soaking water), beer, and vinegar to a blender and blend, adding a little of the soaking water as needed to form a smooth, thick paste. The adobo will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
  5. For the salsa: Raise the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
  6. For the birria: A half day to a full day before you plan to serve, sprinkle the short ribs heavily with salt; let sit 30 minutes.
  7. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in a single layer, working in batches as needed to avoid crowding the pot; cook, turning occasionally, until some of the fat is rendered and the meat is golden brown on all sides, then remove to a platter. Marinate the meat in half of the birria adobo and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Lay the banana leaf across the bottom of a pot or Dutch oven, then place the meat and marinade on top. Cut the onion half into four pieces and arrange the pieces over the meat along with the garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add enough water to cover the meat by 1 inch. Fold the ends of the banana leaf over the meat to cover. Seal the pan with aluminum foil or a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until very tender, about 3 hours. Drain the meat, reserving the braising liquid. (If not serving immediately, you can refrigerate the liquid and meat until ready to serve, up to 2 days.)
  10. For the salsa: Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet to medium heat and add the cascabel chiles; cook, turning occasionally, until the chiles turn bright red and charred in places, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer the chiles, roasted tomatoes and garlic, and the remaining half of the birria adobo to a blender, working in batches if needed, and blend until very smooth.
  11. In a large pot, combine the salsa with half of the braising liquid, or more as needed to achieve a rich but still runny consistency; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Cut the short ribs into large chunks (about 3 inches) and add the meat to the sauce; taste and adjust the salt as necessary.
  12. For serving: Serve the birria with warm tortillas, cilantro, onions and hot sauce, if desired.