MY VERSION OF BEEF BIRRIA (style) TACOS WITH QUESO & CONSOMM’E
Feeds approx 6-8 (2-4 tacos per person)
4 – 8oz beef short ribs (approx 3.5-4 packages)
4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp dried Oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp Chinese 5 spice or 1/2tsp ground cloves (don’t skip this ingredient, it adds such a unique flavor!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ large or 1 small/medium onion roughly cubed (will be put through immersion blender later)
8 cloves fresh garlic & 1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 2” piece of fresh ginger (peeled)
3 large or 6 medium sized tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 qt Chicken Stock & 1-2 c water
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp McCormick’s Chipotle Chile Pepper
1 tsp McCormick’s Ancho Chile Pepper
2 shakes Crushed Red Pepper
1 jalapeno roughly chopped (to make it less spicy don’t use the seeds or white inner rib) if you prefer spicy, add 2 or perhaps use the seeds and ribs
16 oz freshly shredded low moisture Monterey jack cheese
1 package white corn tortillas, I like Mission brand
½ – finely chopped red onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
For this recipe you will also need:
1 immersion blender (preferred) or regular blender
1 Instant Pot
1 fine mesh strainer
1 large skillet
The cooking process:
** As far in advance as possible (preferably 24 hrs), place all of your short ribs on a cookie sheet or other large flat surface, with your knife carefully cut each individual short rib down the middle towards the bone & sprinkle the entire thing with Salt & Pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and both the McCormick’s Chipotle & Ancho Pepper seasoning. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
-Start by measuring out all of the dry ingredients and set aside in a small bowl.
-Pour the olive oil into the bowl of the Instant Pot. Turn the Instant Pot on to “Saute” and add the dry ingredients as well as the chopped jalapeno and onion (don’t add the fresh garlic yet)
-Heat the oil and dry ingredients until fragrant, approx 2 min.
-Add a few short ribs (a few at a time) to the pan and sear the cut side down and open. Removing each after approx 1 min, and adding a new short rib in its place until you have done this with each short rib. (As you are doing this set them all in a big bowl until ready to use)
– At this point add (to the Instant Pot) the chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, honey, chicken stock & water
– Use the immersion blender to blend all of the above until no chunks remain.
– Leave the above liquid in the bowl and add the seared short ribs & bay leaves.
Turn the Instant Pot to “Pressure” mode and pressure cook for 50 min. Once the little topper has gone down, release the excess steam, let sit for 20 min. The short ribs should be so tinder they fall off the bone. (If not, leave to sit another 20-30 min)
-Remove the short ribs from the hot liquid. Allow to rest until cool enough to handle. The meat should slide right off the bone, shred the meat, and discard the fat and bones. Keep the shredded meat in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
-Strain the remaining liquid from the Instant Pot into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer, this liquid will be uses for your consumm’e. Reserve the remaining liquid. Discard what’s leftover in the strainer.
– There are 2 ways to do this next step, I have done both. If you won’t be eating right away, refrigerate the consumme liquid for a few hours. Allowing the fat on the surface to harden (to the consistency of butter). You then can remove said fat layer and save in a bowl. You will use this fat to fry the tacos.
-This works best if you set up a little work station close to your stovetop. You will want to have:
– The reserved fat
– The shredded meat
– The shredded cheese
– Plate lined with paper towels to soak up any grease from the tacos before serving.
Start by placing approximately ½ Tbsp of the reserved oil in the pan, once the oil is warm dip both sides of each tortilla into the warm grease (this should be enough for all 4 of the tacos) I usually fit 4 tortillas in the pan each round. Add a few spoonfuls of shredded meat and cheese to each tortilla. Once it begins to melt, fold the taco in half and continue cooking both sides until each tortilla becomes crispy on both sides.
Once you’ve cooked as many as you’d like, serve with a small both of the reserved warmed consomm’e, cilantro and onion added.
This broth is one of the best I’ve made!! I may or may not drink the leftover like a soup when I’m done!!!