Birria Estilo Mascota. A tender helping of beef with a delicious broth surrounding. It is topped with cabbage, onion and lime. I threw in some brown rice for good measure and made the Salsa Para Birria which was out of this world.
I started marinating the brisket the night before in a seasoning paste. Ancho chiles, vinegars, cinnamon, cumin, oregano and chocolate and many others were involved. I slathered it over the big cubes of meat and stuck it in the fridge to do magic.
I had time yesterday to finally pick up a tamale steamer. I placed the meat inside, filled the bottom up with water and a couple pennies to know when to add more water and let it go for about 2.5 hours.
I got started on the salsa because that needed to season for a couple hours before eating. This salsa is so simple. I’m gonna give the recipe for this one. I’ve been really careful not to give out full recipes in respect to the author, but one is ok, right?
You take 20 chile de árbol and throw them in a saucepan and cover with water. You bring them to a simmer and let em keep simmering for 10 minutes. Turn off the burner and let them soak for another 10 minutes. You then remove the stems and throw them into a blender. You add half a cup of white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, 2 garlic cloves and 4 peppercorns. Then you blend it until you can get it as smooth as possible. You need to strain the sauce and then add a little salt to taste. Let it sit for a couple hours and you have yourself a really hot sauce you can drizzle on anything.
While the meat was cooking I got the sudden urge to clean the kitchen and I did just that. I washed the baseboards and the floor closest to the wall with a sponge (those swiffers don’t get the corners too well). And then proceeded to wash the entire floor. I have no idea why.
The meat was finally done and in it went into the oven to crisp up the outsides. I threw some tomatoes in the leftover broth, blended them once they were soft and put them back in. It was at this moment I panicked. There had been a couple pennies cooking in the broth that whole time. Are we going to get poisoned by copper and zinc? I asked Andrew and freaked him out. We spent a good 15 minutes googling penny toxicity and read some horrible things. I was about to cry because I had waited so long to eat this dish and it smelled so good. Andrew suggested I just call Poison Control . . . and I did. Here’s how it went.
Maggie: “Hi, ok, so, I am making this dish were you have to steam meat for a couple hours. The recipe says to put some coins in the water and if they stop rattling around it means more water needs to be added to continue making steam. Am I going to get poisoned from having pennies cooking in the broth?!”
Nice Man at Poison Control: (Laughing) “No, you should be fine. What exactly were you doing with the pennies again?”
Maggie: I repeat the story, talking a little slower and giving more details. Yes Dad, I was probably mumbling.
Nice Man: “Oh, that’s interesting. No, unless you are eating pennies you should be fine. As a matter of fact, you’d have to eat a ton of pennies often to really cause a problem.”
I’m laughing to myself as I writing this, but how was I supposed to know?
Anyways, this dish jumped so fast to the top of my list. The broth was perfect, all the toppings went so well together, and that sauce . . . heaven. No leftovers. Gone.