Birria Adobo Paste
- 20 dried ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
- 8 garlic cloves
- 6 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cloves
- 4 tsp thyme
- 4 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 6 lbs beef chuck or lamb (See Note 1)
- salt (See Note 2)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 adobo paste (see above)
- 1 medium white onion remove skin, cut into quarters
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 12 cascabel chiles stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 remaining adobo paste (see above)
- 28 oz roasted tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 16 corn tortillas
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 medium white onion diced
- pickled red onion optional
Transfer dried chiles to a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set chiles aside.
In a skillet over medium high heat toast the garlic, bay leaves, sesame seeds, peppercorns and cloves. Sesame seeds should be a light brown and spices aromatic.
Transfer toasted garlic and spices, thyme, oregano, ginger and cumin, drained chiles, water and vinegar to a blender and puree. Add water as needed for a smooth, thick paste consistency (See Note 3). Strain through a sieve and discard any debris if needed (I use a Vitamix that does a great job, so no need to strain). This can be made 1 week in advance stored covered in refrigerator.
Season lamb or beef all over liberally with salt. Searing meat first is optional (I prefer the browned meat myself, but to save time skip this step). Sear meat all over in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a little oil. Work in batches so the meat sears and doesn’t steam due to over crowding pot.
Remove meat if seared and or place salted meat into the Instant Pot along with onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns. Pour in half of the adobo paste, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cook on Meat/Stew setting, High, for 45 minutes. Allow for Natural steam release.
Remove the meat, reserving the cooking liquid, and shred. Transfer shredded meat back into the Instant Pot and cover to keep warm. Set reserved cooking liquid aside.
To a skillet over medium high heat, add the cascabel chiles. Cook and turn often, chiles should turn a bright red color, for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, roasted tomatoes and remaining half of the adobo paste and simmer for 10 minutes.
Transfer tomato chile mixture and half of the reserved cooking liquid to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve and discard any debris if needed.
To the Instant Pot add half the strained chile puree to the shredded meat. Set to Saute and cook meat and chile sauce, uncovered for 20 minutes.