Birria Tacos

Birria Tacos

By Claudette Zepeda, Food & Wine

A combination of two meats creates the best balance of tender texture (from the chuck roast) and succulence (from the short ribs). Each taco gets a slow-cooked flavor from the adobo sauce.


Active Time
35 MIN

Total Time
8 HR 55 MIN

Yield
Serves: Makes 16 tacos


Ingredients

  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast (about 2 1/4 inches thick)
  • 2 pounds English-cut beef short ribs (about 3 ribs)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • Adobo
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Canola oil, for greasing
  • 32 (6-inch) fresh corn tortillas or 16 packaged corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges, for serving


How to Make It

Step 1   

Sprinkle chuck roast and short ribs all over with 2 tablespoons salt. Combine roast, ribs, and adobo in a large nonreactive bowl; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 2   

Preheat oven to 300°F. Transfer adobo mixture to a large (9 1/2-quart) Dutch oven; add 8 cups water. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium, stirring occasionally. Cover with lid, and place in preheated oven. Bake until meat is fork-tender, about 4 hours.

Step 3   

Remove chuck roast and short ribs from braising broth, and transfer to a large bowl; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Return broth in Dutch oven to heat over medium, and cook, uncovered, skimming off fat as needed, until reduced to about 8 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Season broth with salt to taste. Shred meat; discard bones. Toss meat with 1 1/2 cups of the broth.

Step 4   

Stir together onion, cilantro, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 5   

Heat a large nonstick electric griddle to 400°F or a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Using a paper towel dipped in canola oil, lightly grease griddle. If using fresh tortillas, stack 2 tortillas, and use tongs to dip them together into adobo broth. (If using packaged tortillas, dip 1 tortilla per taco.) Place stacked tortillas on griddle; top with 1/4 cup meat. Repeat with as many tortilla stacks as will comfortably fit on the griddle. Cook until bottom tortilla is lightly browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold tacos in half, gently pressing with a spatula. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat process with oil, adobo broth, remaining tortillas, and remaining meat.

Step 6   

Serve tacos hot with onion-cilantro mixture, lime wedges, and remaining adobo broth for dipping or sipping.


Make-Ahead
Adobo can be made up to 3 days ahead. Meat can be braised up to 2 days in advance and reheated in the broth before shredding the meat and reducing broth.

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