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Traditional birria de res, a Jalisco style beef soup typical from Mexico. Close-up of the stew with a spoon

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America (

The Meat:

1 lb. goat or pork meat, like shoulder

½ lb. goat or pork fore shank

½ lb. goat or pork ribs

Kosher salt, as needed

2 pasilla chiles, veins and seeds removed

3 ancho chiles, veins and seeds removed

2 guajillo chiles, veins and seeds removed

3 chiles de árbol or Cascabel

3 cloves garlic

2 allspice berries

1 t. dried oregano

½ t. minced thyme

½ t. grated fresh ginger

½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice

½ c. cider vinegar

½ c. rice vinegar

2 t. dried marjoram

The Caldillo:

1 ½ lb. Roma tomatoes

½ white onion

1 clove garlic, skin on

1 t. dried oregano

2 T. vegetable oil or lard

2 qts. chicken broth or water

For serving:

1 white onion, small diced

¼ c. dried oregano

2 limes, sliced into wedges

½ c. salsa of your choice

18 corn tortillas

In large bowl or on a baking sheet, season the meat with salt all over. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

    Place the pasilla, ancho, guajillo, and de árbol chiles in a large heat-safe bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside to soak until soft, about 15 minutes. Strain and transfer the chiles to a blender.

    To the blender, add the garlic, allspice, oregano, thyme, ginger, orange juice, cider vinegar, and rice vinegar. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.

     Pour the chile mixture over the reserved meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

     Preheat the oven to 325°F. Transfer the meat and marinade to a Dutch oven. Add the marjoram. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours.

     Meanwhile, prepare the caldillo. Heat a heavy skillet or plancha over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and cook, turning occasionally, until deeply browned and lightly charred all over, about 1 minute for the garlic, 3 minutes for the onion, and about 8 minutes for the tomatoes.

     Peel the garlic and place in a blender with the onion and tomatoes. Blend until smooth.

     Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture darkens in color and thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

     To serve the birria, shred the meat and place it in a bowl. Ladle the caldillo over the meat and serve with the garnishes on the side.


El Restaurante

El Restaurante magazine was founded in 1997, and is read by over 25,000 owners and managers of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the United States. The magazine is published five times per year by Maiden Name Press, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

El Restaurante also publishes a monthly e-newsletter, eMex, and maintains the popular website

El Restaurante is edited by Kathleen Furore, a veteran journalist. She has been the editor since the magazine was founded. Kathleen can be reached at 708-267-0023 or

For advertising information, please contact publisher Ed Avis at or 708-218-7755.


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