Featured beef cut:
The tri tip is a lean roast, which is sometimes cut in to steaks. It comes from the bottom of the sirloin primal, and there are only two per cow. If grilled, smoked or pan cooked, is best done to medium rare as it can dry out easily and become tough. It can be cooked low and slow in a crockpot roast and will come out very tender.
In this recipe, we’re using the tri tip in a Mexican stew. And then we’re making TACOS. Birria is a slow cooked, spicy, savory Mexican stew. Some genius came up with the idea to turn the stew in to tacos. You dip the tortillas in the consommé and then fry them. To eat, you top the tacos with chopped onions and cilantro and dip in the consommé from the stew. It’s absolutely amazing! For this recipe, we’re going to make the stew in a crock pot. You can also make this in the oven. (For the dish we made for this post, we started in the crockpot then transferred to a Dutch oven to finish in the oven because we had somewhere to go during the day and didn’t want to leave the oven on while we were out 😅)
- Tri tip roast 1.5-2lbs
- (We used beef short ribs in this particular cook, this is optional. If you want to add them add about 1 pound worth)
- One white or yellow onion, cut in half
- 1/4 – 1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped for topping
- Garlic- measure with your heart. We used 15 cloves.
- 5 dried guajillo peppers- stems cut off and seeds removed
- 3 dried ancho peppers, stems cut off and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon or 3 bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 1/2 cups water, divided
- Small tortillas – corn or flour
- Oaxaca cheese (or other melting cheese such as mozzarella or Monterrey jack)
- Reconstitute the chilies: cut the stems off the dried peppers and shake out the seeds. Place the peppers in a bowl and pour 1.5 cups boiling water over them. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
- While the chilies are reconstituting, add your meat to the crock pot (no need to brown). Remove the skin and cut the onion in half. Peel the garlic. Add both to the crockpot. You can add the bay leaves at this time too.
- Once the chilies are soft, add them to a blender with the spices and purée until smooth.
- Pour the blended chilies and spices in to the crockpot and add the rest of the water.
- Cook in the crockpot on high for an hour or two until the sauce is bubbling, then reduce to low and cook for another 4-6 hours, until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork.
- Once the meat is cooked, remove to a bowl and shred or chop.
- Remove the onion, garlic and bay leaves from the consommé.
- (((If you want to stop here you can enjoy this as a stew. Get a bit of meat, a bit of broth and top with onions and cilantro and maybe a squeeze of lime juice! if you want tacos, keep reading!)))
- Prepare something to fry the tacos. We use a cast iron skillet. You could use a flat top grill, or just a regular frying pan. Just make sure whatever you’re using is preheated (medium high heat).
- Working in batches, dunk each tortilla in the consommé and fry. Add your meat and cheese to one half of the tortilla and fold the tortilla over in to a taco. Cool each side until the taco is crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Ladle the remaining consommé in to bowls and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
- Add chopped onions and cilantro to the tacos after frying if desired, and dip in the sauce as you eat!
- Eat these on their own, or serve with a side of Mexican street corn!