Beery Ox Cheek & Tail Birria Tacos Recipe – Makes enough for 21 tacos
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus overnight cooling
Cooking time: 4 hours
Cost: approx £2 per taco
- Krombacher Dark Lager (approx. 200ml)
- 8 dried guajillo or ancho chillies, seeds removed
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1.5kg ox cheek
- 1.5 kg oxtail
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- Cheese (such as low-moisture mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, or Oaxaca cheese)
- Fresh coriander
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
Roughly rip the dried chillies into small pieces and add to a heavy-based saucepan with the cumin seeds. Toast the seeds and chillies on a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant, but not smoking. Add 500ml cold water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Allow the chillies to steep for 20 minutes.
Transfer the chillies and water to a blender with the garlic, oregano, cloves, onion and chipotle peppers in their sauce. Season with salt and pepper and blend for at least one minute until completely smooth. Set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.
Prepare the beef by removing any sinew or silver skin from the ox cheeks and ox tail. Cut each ox cheek into four pieces.
Place the ox tail and ox cheek in a large roasting tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until well browned.
Remove from the oven and pour in the blended chilli mixture, the tinned tomatoes, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, peppercorns and enough Krombacher Dark to come about halfway up the sides of the oxtail pieces.
Decrease the oven heat to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 and braise the beef for 3 hours, flipping the meat halfway through cooking. Add more Krombacher Dark if necessary.
Once braised, remove the meat from the pan, shred and place in a large bowl. Strain the remaining braising liquid into a different bowl, then add around 200ml to the beef. Cover both bowls with cling film and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
To serve, gently reheat the beef in a large saucepan, remove the layer of solidified fat from the top of the sauce and reserve for another recipe. Heat the sauce until simmering, then remove from the heat.
Serve the warmed beef in tortillas, optionally topped with cheese, coriander and chopped red onion, dipped into the accompanying sauce.