Slow steamed goat or lamb with mild chile seasoningBirria de Chivo o de Carnero

Recipe by Diana Adcock
READY IN: 8hrs 30mins




  • The Meat: Trim most of the fat from the meat.
  • If it is a goat hindquarter cut into 2 pieces, severing it through the joint at the top of the leg.
  • Place in a large, noncorrosive dish.
  • The Chile Marinade: Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • tea the chiles into flat pieces and toast them a few at a time, pressing them against the hot surface until they crackle and blister, then flip them over and repeat.
  • Cover with boiling water, weight with a plate to keep them submerged and soak 30 minutes.
  • Roast the garlic on the hot griddle until black on the outside, soft in the middle.
  • Cool and peel.
  • Drain the chiles and place in a blender jar with the garlic and vinegar.
  • Add the cumin, pepper and salt and 3/4 cup water.
  • Blend until smooth-then strain.
  • Remove 1/2 cup, stir in the sugar, cover and set aside for the final glazing.
  • spread the rest of the chile paste over the meat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  • Slow steaming: Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Ser a roasting rack into a deep, wide stockpot.
  • Make sure the rack is 1 inch off the bottom.
  • Measure in 3 cups of water then lay the marinated meat on the rack and spread any remaining marinade over it.
  • Add water to the masa harina to make a soft dough.
  • Roll tennis ball-size pieces between your palms to make a 3/4 inch rope, then press them gently all around the top edge of your pot.
  • Set the lid in place and press it into the masa to seal.
  • Bake for 3 hours.
  • Finishing the broth: Break the seal by tapping the hard masa with the back of a cleaver-watch out for the steam-and take off the lid; then carefully remove the tender meat.
  • Take out the rack, spoon the fat off the broth and then measure it.
  • You need at least 1 quart-if necessary, add water to bring it to that level.
  • Pour the broth into a small saucepan.
  • Puree the tomato in a blender or food processor, add it to the broth along with the oregano, cover and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt.
  • Glazing and serving the birria: Shortly before serving, remove the bones, large pieces of gristle and excess fat from the meat, keeping the pieces of meat as large as possible.
  • Set the meat on a baking sheet, brush lightly withthe reserved chile paste glaze, then bake for 10 minutes to set the glaze.
  • Either present the meat on a large platter and pass the warm broth separately, or slice the meat across the grain and serve it in deep plates, awash in the broth.
  • Mix the onion and cilantro, and pass the lime at the table.