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LOCATION: Recipes >> Mexican >> Birria 04

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Serves 6 to 8

1 baby goat, about 15 pounds dressed weight, cut into serving pieces

3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
2 bay leaves, center spines removed
2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper corns
flour and water for making a paste

2 tablespoons lard or olive oil
8 guajillo chilies
1 tablespoon cumin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder, grind together
the cloves, allspice, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper
and rub the mixture into the meat.

Put the meat on a rack over hot water. You can use any sort of pan
or pot you want. The idea is to use a vessel that has a rack for
holding the meat above the water, and has a lid.

Make a paste of flour and water to the consistency of that gooey
white glue that used to get all over your clothes in kindergarten.
Arrange the meat on the rack, cover and use the paste to seal the
lid. Place over medium-low heat and cook for 3 hours. Unseal the
pan and test the meat; it should be very tender. If not, reseal it
and cook longer.

When the meat is ready, remove to a roasting pan or any pan large
enough to hold it. Pour out the cooking juices into a bowl and let
rest until the fat comes to the top. Skim off the fat and discard.
Reserve l cup of the liquid.

Prepare the chilies for the sauce while the meat is cooking. Heat
the lard in a skillet until hot but not smoking. Dip in the chilies,
one at a time, for a few seconds only. Remove the chilies from the
fat and let cool. Wearing rubber gloves, stem and seed the chilies
and put into a pot. Add the reserved 1 cup cooking liquid and simmer
over medium-low heat about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the
cumin seeds until they "dance." In a mortar with a pestle, grind
them to a thick paste with a little water. Toward the end of the
cooking time for the chilies, stir in the cumin paste, and add salt
to taste. Pour the chili mixture into a blender. Puree until smooth.

Pour the puree the sauce and pour over the meat. Put it in the oven
and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.


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