You ever have one of those days when you’re just craving the most divine tacos known to humankind? Yeah, same here. My taste buds are still reeling from an amazingly happy episode with my friend involving fried Birria tacos dipped in consomé. If there’s anything that can dethrone these beauties as the reigning champions of taco heaven, it’s the Al Pastor tacos from Las Bellas Artes in Tijuana, which I braved the dark and slightly intimidating streets of TJ for. True gastronomic bliss, those!
But enough taco-loving reminiscing. Let’s get down to business with another magical food experience: Birria Consomé. Armed with this recipe, you won’t need to venture into the dark alleys of late-night Tijuana to taste a piece of unadulterated culinary delight.
Today, we put the spotlight on the unsung hero: the consomé that brought the Birria tacos to life. You’ll learn how to create this savory broth that—let’s face it—could probably make a cardboard box taste divine. Once you master this elixir, expect a transformative journey that will elevate even the most ordinary meals. So brace yourself for a flavor-fueled adventure that’s worth writing home about (or in this case, blogging)!
- Boneless Chuck roast – 3 pounds, the main attraction of the dish, tender and juicy beef. Substitute with pork or lamb if desired.
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons, for searing the beef, can be substituted with canola or avocado oil.
- Guajillo chiles – 3 dried, bring a smoky flavor to the dish. Substitute with pasilla or New Mexico chiles if unavailable.
- Ancho chiles – 2 dried, add depth of flavor to the consomé. Reduce the amount or use milder chiles like cascabel or mulato for a less spicy version.
- Roma tomatoes – 2, adds acidity to balance the rich beef. Substitute with cherry or grape tomatoes if desired.
- Onion – 1 medium, adds sweetness to the consomé. Substitute with yellow or shallot onions if desired.
- Garlic – 4 cloves, enhances the flavor of the dish. Substitute with minced garlic if needed.
- Cinnamon stick – 1 1/2 inch, adds warm spice to the consomé. Substitute with ground cinnamon if a stick is not available.
- Bay leaf – 1, brings a woodsy aroma to the consomé. Substitute with dried herbs like thyme or oregano if desired.
- Dried oregano – 1 teaspoon, adds an earthy flavor to the consomé. Substitute with fresh oregano if available.
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon, adds nuttiness to the consomé. Substitute with ground cumin if whole seeds are not available.
- Dried thyme – 1 teaspoon, adds a herby flavor to the consomé. Substitute with fresh thyme if available.
- Salt – 1 teaspoon plus more to taste, brings out the flavors in the dish. Substitute with kosher or sea salt if desired.
- Black peppercorns – 1/2 teaspoon, adds spiciness to the consomé. Substitute with ground black pepper if whole peppercorns are not available.
- Beef broth – 2 cups, adds richness to the consomé. Substitute with chicken or vegetable broth if desired.
- First things first, heat up a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a good drizzle of olive oil.
- Season your beef (3 pounds of boneless chuck roast) with salt and pepper, and add it to the pot. Sear it on all sides for a nice golden crust. Then, throw in half an onion and let it cook for a couple of minutes more.
- Take the pot off the heat, we’ll come back to it later. Let’s work on the sauce now.
- Take out the stems and seeds from the dried chiles (2 guajillo and 2 ancho). In a separate pot, add the chiles, 2 roma tomatoes, remaining half of the onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 bay leaf. Pour enough water to cover all the ingredients (about 4-5 cups) and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the remaining seasonings: 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns. Stir it up and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool for a bit. Strain the contents of the pot into a large bowl. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Put the remaining solids into a blender.
- Add 2 cups of the broth from the sauce and 1 cup of beef broth to the blender. Blend it until smooth and creamy. Taste it and add more salt if needed.
- Put the pot with the beef and onions back on the stove over medium heat. Pour the contents of the blender over the beef. If there isn’t enough sauce to cover the beef, add more beef broth to cover it. Bring it to a simmer and then cover and lower the heat. Let it simmer until the meat is tender and shreds easily (about 2-3 hours).
- For a little extra heat, you can add some dried chiles de árbol. And don’t forget, homemade beef broth will take the flavors to the next level!
- The recipe is a classic and hearty Mexican soup that is perfect for a cold night. The key to making this recipe is to take your time and let the flavors develop.
- Don’t be afraid to play around with different seasonings to find the flavor profile that you like best.
Serving Suggestions for Amazing Birria Consomé Recipe
Here are a few of my favorite serving options that’ll take your taste buds on a trip to Mexico:
- Dunking Delight – Serve the birria consomé with a side of warm corn tortillas for dipping. It’s the perfect way to enjoy this delicious broth and get a taste of Mexico with every bite.
- Go Full Mexican – Serve the birria consomé with a side of Mexican rice and beans. It’s a classic Mexican combination that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy.
- Put a Twist on Tacos – Use the birria consomé as a sauce for birria tacos. Top with some shredded cheese, cilantro, and diced onion for a delicious twist on traditional tacos.
- Comforting Bowl – Serve the birria consomé in a bowl as a comforting soup. You can add some chopped cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges on top for a fresh twist.
- Spicy Twist – If you like it spicy, try adding dried chiles de árbol to the birria consomé. The sharp flavor of these hot peppers will perfectly match the earthy flavors of the dish.
- Sunday Brunch – Serve the birria consomé with a side of scrambled eggs and some fresh avocado slices for a hearty brunch option.
Can I use a different type of roast instead of boneless chuck roast?
Sure thing! While boneless chuck roast is traditional, you could also use a different cut of beef like a beef chuck roast, a brisket, or even short ribs. Just keep in mind that cooking times may vary slightly depending on the cut of meat you use.
What can I use instead of dried guajillo and ancho chiles?
Dried guajillo and ancho chiles are traditionally used in birria consomé, but if you can’t find them or want to switch things up, you could try using other types of dried chiles like pasilla, morita or even chipotle peppers.
Can I make this recipe vegan or vegetarian?
Absolutely! While the traditional birria consomé recipe calls for beef, you could substitute the meat with seitan, jackfruit or even tofu for a vegan version. For vegetarian version you could use mushrooms. Just keep in mind that cooking times and seasonings may need to be adjusted a bit.
How can I make the sauce spicier?
If you’re looking for some extra heat, try adding a few dried chiles de árbol to the sauce. These hot peppers have a sharp, fiery flavor that pairs well with the earthy flavors of the rest of the dish. You could also add some extra black pepper or cayenne pepper if you want to kick up the spiciness a notch.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
Absolutely! Birria consomé actually tastes better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. You can reheat it on the stove over low heat or in a slow cooker on low setting.
Birria Consomé Recipe
- Dutch oven or a large pot
- Blender or food processor
- Large strainer
- Medium pot
- 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 2 ripe roma tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium red onion, chopped and divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
- 3 cups beef broth, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or a large pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef with 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the beef to the pot and sear until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, add half of the chopped red onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and set aside.
- In a medium pot, combine the dried guajillo and ancho chiles, tomatoes, remaining half of the red onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to cover all ingredients, about 4 to 5 cups. Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Strain the contents of the sauce pot into a large wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and discard.
- Place the strained solids into a blender. Add 1 cup of beef broth and whirl until well blended.
- Add the remaining seasonings to the blender: dried oregano, cumin seeds, dried thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and peppercorns. Blend until well combined.
- If desired, add a pinch of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Place the pot with the beef and onion back on the stove at medium heat. Pour the blended sauce over the beef. If the sauce is not enough liquid to cover the beef, pour in enough beef broth to cover.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover and lower heat. Simmer until the meat is tender and shreds easily, about 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes.
- Serve the birria consomé with fresh cilantro and lime wedges on the side.
For a richer flavor, use homemade beef broth or a high-quality store-bought broth.
To ensure a smooth sauce, make sure to blend the ingredients thoroughly.
For presentation, serve the birria consomé in a deep bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
To add more depth of flavor, try roasting the dried chiles and tomatoes before boiling them.