Birria (Seasoned and Baked Meat)

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Title: Birria (Seasoned and Baked Meat)
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Appetizers, Mexican, Lamb

Ingredients:

8 To 10 servings


It is a really rustic dish. Usually a whole goat or lamb, although in some
places just the offal, is seasoned with a paste of ground spices and chiles
and cooked in a pit barbecue. As you wander around Guadalajara at night,
you can see that tacos of birria head the list of antojitos on the
street-side stands and always appear prominently on the Sunday menus of the
smaller regional restaurants. Here is a family version of birria, with the
variety of chiles used in Zacatecas, rather than the plain chilacate or
ancho used in Jalisco.

One day ahead: 2 lamb shanks A veal breast A lamb breast 3 pounds loin of
pork 2 tbs salt 6 chiles anchos 3 chiles guajillos 10 chiles cascabel 18
peppercorns 4 whole cloves 1/4 tsp oregano Scant 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds 1/4 cup vinegar 2 tsp salt 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1/2 small
onion Directions: There will be approximately 6 to 7 pounds of meat. Slash
the meats in several places down to the bone and rub the salt well into it.
Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste. Heat the comal and toast the chiles
lightly, turning them from time to time so that they will not burn. Remove
the veins and seeds. Put the chiles to soak in hot water for about 20
minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to the blender jar, add the
rest of the ingredients, and blend to a smooth sauce. Cover the meat
thickly with the paste and set it aside to season for about 18 hours.

On serving day: 1 1/2 cups water The meat Flour and water paste 2 pounds
tomatoes, broiled 1 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 tsp oregano Preheat the
oven to 350 degrees. Put the water into the bottom of a large Dutch oven or
casserole with a tightly fitting lid and place the meat on a rack so that
it is just above the water. Seal the lid with a paste of flour and water
and cook for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, by which time the meat should be
almost falling off the bones. Strain off the juices from the bottom of the
pan, cool, and skim off the fat. There should be about 2 cups of juices
left- if not, make it up to 2 cups with water. Blend the tomatoes to a
smooth sauce. Put the sauce and the skimmed juices from the meat into a
saucepan and bring to a boil. Serve each portion of mixed meats in a deep
bowl. Pour 1/2 cup sauce over the meat and sprinkle with the chopped onion
and oregano. Eat with tortillas.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini