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Birria (Seasoned and Baked Meat)

2 lamb shanks
1 veal breast
1 lamb breast
3 pounds loin of pork

2 Tbsp salt
6 chiles anchos
3 chiles guajillos
10 chiles cascabel
18 peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1/4 tsp oregano
Scant 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 small onion

There will be approximately 6 to 7 pounds of meat. Slash the meats
in several places down to the bone and rub the salt well into it.
Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste. Heat the comal and toast the
chiles lightly, turning them from time to time so that they will
not burn. Remove the veins and seeds. Put the chiles to soak in
hot water for about 20 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon
to the blender jar, add the rest of the ingredients, and blend to
a smooth sauce. Cover the meat thickly with the paste and set it
aside to season for about 18 hours.

1 1/2 cups water
The meat
Flour and water paste
2 pounds tomatoes, broiled
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp oregano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the water into the bottom of
a large Dutch oven or casserole with a tightly fitting lid and
place the meat on a rack so that it is just above the water. Seal
the lid with a paste of flour and water and cook for about 3 1/2
to 4 hours, by which time the meat should be almost falling off
the bones. Strain off the juices from the bottom of the pan, cool,
and skim off the fat. There should be about 2 cups of juices left-
if not, make it up to 2 cups with water. Blend the tomatoes to a
smooth sauce. Put the sauce and the skimmed juices from the meat
into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Serve each portion of mixed
meats in a deep bowl. Pour 1/2 cup sauce over the meat and sprinkle
with the chopped onion and oregano. Eat with tortillas.


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