Birria tacos may have been taking your socials by storm, so let’s go one step further and add the king of carbs: noodles! This birria recipe sees the Mexican spiced and braised beef soup enjoy a few Japanese-style ramen twists at the end. You’ll want in, trust.
1kg (2 lb 3 oz) beef rib or shank, bone in
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
6 cups beef stock
2 packets instant ramen noodles
1 x 200g (7 oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 x 400g (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup rice vinegar*
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup shredded green cabbage
2 soft boiled eggs, halved
1 green jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 lime, quartered
fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
Place beef ribs in a deep rectangular tray and sprinkle generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Place chipotle peppers, crushed tomato, vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika and cumin into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Pour tomato mixture over the beef ribs, ensuring they’re well coated. Transfer tray to the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, place a casserole dish or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil, followed by the onion, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Saute gently for around 2 minutes or until the onion turns translucent.
Add the ribs to the pan, scraping off excess marinade beforehand. Cook, turning often, for about 5 minutes until all sides are a beautiful golden brown. Pour over the reserved marinade, followed by the beef stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 4 hours until the meat is very tender and the bone has fallen out.
Carefully remove the beef ribs from the pan and transfer to a clean tray or large plate. Use two forks to shred the beef from the bones (discard the bones).
Scoop off roughly half of the red oil that’s sitting on top of the broth and place into a separate bowl or container for later. Now strain the broth into a large, clean saucepan, discarding the aromatics and what’s remaining in the sieve (press it down with the ladle to ensure you get as much liquid as possible out of it!).
Place a frying pan over high heat and add in around 2 tbsp of the excess oil. Now add enough shredded beef to top 4 serves of ramen noodles – and fry for about 5-6 minutes until crispy.
Meanwhile, place the saucepan of broth under high heat and bring to a boil. Add the instant noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes or until tender.
Use tongs to divide noodles between serving bowls. Top with some crispy beef, then ladle some of the steaming broth over the meat and noodles. Add some shredded cabbage, half an egg, jalapenos and fresh coriander to each of the bowls. Squeeze lime over everything and dive in!
– You could substitute rice vinegar for white vinegar if needed.