Monday, November 6, 2023 at 4:58 PM

Traditional birria de res, a Jalisco style beef soup typical from Mexico. Close-up of the stew with a spoon

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America (

The Meat:

1 lb. goat or pork meat, like shoulder

½ lb. goat or pork fore shank

½ lb. goat or pork ribs

Kosher salt, as needed

2 pasilla chiles, veins and seeds removed

3 ancho chiles, veins and seeds removed

2 guajillo chiles, veins and seeds removed

3 chiles de árbol or Cascabel

3 cloves garlic

2 allspice berries

1 t. dried oregano

½ t. minced thyme

½ t. grated fresh ginger

½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice

½ c. cider vinegar

½ c. rice vinegar

2 t. dried marjoram

The Caldillo:

1 ½ lb. Roma tomatoes

½ white onion

1 clove garlic, skin on

1 t. dried oregano

2 T. vegetable oil or lard

2 qts. chicken broth or water

For serving:

1 white onion, small diced

¼ c. dried oregano

2 limes, sliced into wedges

½ c. salsa of your choice

18 corn tortillas

In large bowl or on a baking sheet, season the meat with salt all over. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

    Place the pasilla, ancho, guajillo, and de árbol chiles in a large heat-safe bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside to soak until soft, about 15 minutes. Strain and transfer the chiles to a blender.

    To the blender, add the garlic, allspice, oregano, thyme, ginger, orange juice, cider vinegar, and rice vinegar. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.

     Pour the chile mixture over the reserved meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

     Preheat the oven to 325°F. Transfer the meat and marinade to a Dutch oven. Add the marjoram. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours.

     Meanwhile, prepare the caldillo. Heat a heavy skillet or plancha over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and cook, turning occasionally, until deeply browned and lightly charred all over, about 1 minute for the garlic, 3 minutes for the onion, and about 8 minutes for the tomatoes.

     Peel the garlic and place in a blender with the onion and tomatoes. Blend until smooth.

     Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture darkens in color and thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

     To serve the birria, shred the meat and place it in a bowl. Ladle the caldillo over the meat and serve with the garnishes on the side.