3 pound beef chuck roast (see notes)
2 teaspoons salt + more to taste
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper + more to taste
10 dried chile de árbol peppers, destemmed and deseeded (see notes)
6 dried guajillo chile peppers, destemmed and deseeded
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large white onion, quartered
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon ground clove (see notes)
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
FOR THE TACOS
48 corn tortillas, white or yellow
10 ounces Oaxaca cheese, queso quesadilla cheese or Monterey jack, shredded
Non-stick cooking spray
Diced white onion
Liberally sprinkle beef chuck roast with salt and pepper, rub into roast, and set aside.
Place the chile de árbols, guajillo chiles, garlic, and onions in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from stove. Transfer one cup of the cooking liquid, the chiles, garlic, and onion to a blender. Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, clove, two teaspoons salt, and one teaspoon pepper. Pulse until smooth. *If you wish to remove any chunks from the sauce you can run it through a fine sieve.
Cut the beef chuck roast into large pieces. Place in a dutch oven or stockpot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. Add the sauce from step three and enough water to cover the beef by no more than one inch. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
For stovetop: Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-6 hours; shred meat and return to stove to simmer for an additional 1-2 hours. For slow cooker: Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours; shred meat and return to pot. Go ahead and serve or allow to cook an additional 1-2 hours. For Instant Pot: Close the lid and pressure valve and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally, then do a quick release. Shred the meat and return to pot.
Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
FOR THE TACOS
Heat a skillet to medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Lightly dip a tortilla in consomé (birria broth), shake off excess liquid, and place in the skillet. Sprinkle with cheese (approximately 1-2 tablespoons), then dip a second tortilla in consomé, shake off excess liquid, and place atop the cheese.
Fry for approximately 30 seconds or until slightly browned, then flip and fry an additional 30 seconds or until slightly browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas/cheese.
Fill each shell with approximately 1/4 cup shredded beef and top with onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and side of consomé for dipping.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.
You may sub the beef for chicken, veal, goat, lamb, or pork. I have personally only tried pork. If you opt to sub pork, I recommend a pork butt roast. Additionally, this recipe calls for three pounds of meat however, it does not need to be exact. I have used all the way up to a 3 1/3 pound roast.
To cut some of the heat, I recommend either cutting down the chile de arbol or leaving them out completely and instead adding 2-3 extra guajilo chiles.
For some people, the taste of clove can be overpowering. If you are not a big fan of clove, feel free to leave it out or add just a pinch.