Mexican food for the masses, especially on weekends, at Birrieria El Tijuanazo in Colton
By David Cohen
Birria is a dish that originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco and its largest city, Guadalajara.
In the center of Mexico, the meat of choice is goat or mutton. Chile de arbol, guajillo and ancho chiles are used in the broth, starting with dried chiles which are toasted, rehydrated, de-stemmed, de-seeded, de-veined and blended in the broth along with bay leaves, thyme, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, salt, black pepper, garlic and onions. The meat is cubed or coarsely chopped, added to the broth and cooked until tender.
In the U.S. and Tijuana, beef is the preferred choice of meat.
Here, at Birrieria El Tijuanazo, owners Vincent and Brenda Dominguez have hit upon a very successful formula. Virtually all the food offered is a version of birria.
Vincent has re-created the wildly popular dish that he ate growing up in Tijuana. His version uses dry pasilla and guajillo chiles which, after rehydration, are blended into the broth as in Jalisco as well as garlic, onions and assorted spices that include a touch of cinnamon, resulting in a highly aromatic broth. The coarsely chopped beef is then cooked for three to four hours until very tender, such that it can be easily chopped finer or shredded.
The broth is so flavorful that I would drink it with a straw. Word has it that it rivals menudo as a hangover cure. Fortunately, you can order a 12-ounce cup of broth to sip as a chaser or to use for dipping your tacos into for $2.
You can order the classic birria in broth where the meat is cubed or roughly chopped, as a meat-only taco or as a quezabirria (meat with cheese). For tacos, the meat is more shredded or finely chopped.
The medium or large bowls of birria with broth come with five corn tortillas, which can be […]