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Let's Make Beef Birria (Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Dutch Oven)
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Learn to make authentic beef birria at home! This recipe is surprisingly easy to make in the slow cooker with a rich and flavorful red chile sauce and tender beef.
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  • 3 lbs lean beef chuck roast (cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 4 dried guajillo peppers (seeded)
  • 4 dried ancho chiles (seeded)
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol (seeded)
  • 1 white onion, chopped (large pieces)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped (large pieces)
  • 8 garlic cloves (whole)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or beef)
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Let's Watch Beef Birria (Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Dutch Oven)
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Step 1 Cut the dried chiles with a knife or scissors. Remove the seeds and stem. Then heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles in a single layer in a heavy sauce pan for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and puffing up.
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Step 2 Add the onions, garlic cloves, and tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
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Step 3 Add the spices to the pan (kosher salt, oregano, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves). Stir and cook for one minute. Add the broth and vinegar to the saucepan. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes until the chiles are soft and pliable.
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Step 4 Remove the bay leaves. Add everything in the pan to a blender or use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.
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Step 5 Slow cooker: Add the beef and chile sauce to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours until the beef is fork-tender and easily shreds. Shred the beef. Instant Pot: Sear the beef in the Instant Pot. Add the birria sauce and set it to high pressure for 60 minutes. Then, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes before manually releasing the rest. Dutch oven: After searing the beef, add the birria sauce. Bring it to a simmer on low. Cover and cook for 2.5-3 hours until the meat is fork tender. You can also place the Dutch oven in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours if you prefer.
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Step 6 Top with fresh cilantro and onion. Birria is traditionally served in corn tortillas with consome (the cooking broth) on the side for dipping. Strain the sauce if you want a thinner broth or add more beef broth.
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