Pass Or Fail? Making Birria Tacos With Consomé
July 21, 2020 - By Alex Eady
It seems like lately Birria recipes are the new food trend taking over my Instagram feed. This tender, messy and delicious shredded meat can be served many ways, and pairs with broth for dipping so every bite is full of flavor. As the buzz over birria grows, I decided to take to the kitchen and try making this authentic Mexican dish on my own. This time, I turned to a YouTube tutorial from Claudia Regalado who shares amazing homemade dishes and made this taco recipe look like a cakewalk. But I'll be honest- although I'm all for culinary exploration, *whew* this recipe almost took me out. I'm a newbie, so this took much longer than I anticipated and I ran into several snafus along the way. Despite this, I didn't give up and several long hours later I created a delicious meal I was extremely proud of.
Continue reading below for a few of my recipe mishaps and what I learned in the process.
TIP #1: Do not overcook your meat. Read that twice. One of my main mistakes was boiling my meat too long while scrambling to prep other ingredients in the background. This left me with beef that just wasn't as tender as I would have liked. Be sure to remove your meat from the water as soon as it's tender and pulling apart easily. Remember the meat will continue to cook after it's shredded while it simmers in the broth & consomé.
IMPORTANT: Handle the dried chile pods with caution!
These chiles may cause skin reaction or irritation while handling. Be extremely cautious when removing the seeds and I highly recommend wearing gloves during this step.
TIP #2: Substitute the chiles for other dried spices if needed. I quickly realized when
de-seeding and boiling my chiles for the broth, I was having a minor reaction to the capsasin released from the chiles. (My body was hot, my skin was itchy and I felt minor swelling in the throat, yikes.) In the end, my symptoms thankfully subsided, but I ended up only using half of the chiles I boiled out of fear my reaction might get worse. Then, my birria broth wasn't nearly as spicy as I would have liked. But to avoid this next time, I'll be substituting the dried chiles for similar powder spices that can add the same heat and flavor I want without any reactions.
TIP #3: Have fun with plating! Several hours and a near death experience later, I was ready for the final part of the recipe process which is finally getting my food on a plate. The signature on this fun dish is sopping your tortilla with broth and pan frying it to leave it with dark, crispy edges. My mistake in plating was being too modest with my birria broth; it felt so strange to literally dunk my tortilla in there. Again, I'm a newbie so I wasn't sure what I was doing, but after a few tries I felt more confident and my tacos turned out both Instagrammable and delicious.
This recipe was the biggest challenge I've taken on so far, but the tacos tasted absolutely amazing. Tacos are my lifeline and this recipe was a new, fun twist that I never thought I could make myself. Despite my cooking mishaps, my meat still turned out juicy and flavorful after soaking up the broth, plus I added my favorite fixings like onions, cilantro, lime and guacamole to top it off.
If you're thinking about taking your next taco night to the next level, brace yourself, plan ahead and give this recipe a try! - (this reheats really well and can last you for days) Leave a comment if you've ever tried a birria recipe or if you're inspired to make it on your own!
Be sure to check out the original recipe I followed from Claudia Regalado!