I am so very glad I bought the book. I choose for my first recipe to try, Traditional Mexican Stew- Birria from the book. It allowed me to work with various types of beautiful chiles I see at local Mexican grocery stores, that I have always wondered about. Relatively easy to make despite the longer ingredient list. The results?? Two Big Thumbs UP from family. I have made it twice already and thinking it might be time to make it again!
Recipe adapted from "Claudia's Cocina, a taste of Mexico" by Claudia Sandoval.
6 dried California chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried Pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried Gaujillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 yellow onions, chopped and divided
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pounds (1.4kg) beef chuck roast or goat's or sheep's leg meat, cut into 6 to 8 equal pieces
10 black peppercorns
Soak dried California, Pasilla and Gaujilo chiles in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Turn off heat, cover and allow chilies to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, until soften. Using tongs, remove the chilies from the saucepan and place them in a blender with 2 cups of boiling liquid, half the chopped onions, the garlic, oregano, and cumin. Blend until smooth but not too thick, adding more reserve water as needed.
I used the meat from a leg of lamb, cut into large chunks. The original recipe called for cooking the meat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Both times that I cooked the Birria, I used my 3 in 1 Ninja Cooker; it can be used to brown, slow cook, steam or roast. I find it convenient to use the Ninja cooker as I can set it on a timer and also reheat the dish.
Remove one of the pieces of meat. Using tongs and a fork, break up the meat in the center of a shallow bowl and fill it with broth to cover meat. Sprinkle on some cilantro and remaining onion. Repeat with remaining pieces of meat and broth.
I served the Birria with Spanish rice or as filling in tacos. Either way, it was delicious.