September 25, 2023


Qualified food specialists

In Salem, where to try birria tacos, quesabirria, birria pizza, more

5 min read

Salem diners have birria fever.

Traditional birria, from the Mexican state of Jalisco, is a braise of goat, beef or sometimes mutton, slow cooked with chilies and spices until the meat reaches a juicy, tender, nearly shredded consistency. Brick red-orange and deeply fortifying, it’s a dish that requires slow cooking to yield the richest results.

This homey dish has reached Internet food craze status in recent years. Los Angeles-based taco trucks started serving Tijuana-style birria de res, made with beef, in tacos, mulitas and quesadillas — now often listed as quesabirria — often with a cup of the beefy orange consomé alongside for dipping.

Using beef, which is fattier than goat, yields a stew with a slick of red-gold fat on the top. These entrepreneurs began dabbing a corn tortilla into this fat before frying and filling it with melty Oaxaca cheese (or mozzarella), shredded meat, onions and cilantro. The chili-infused fat gives birria tacos their signature red-orange look.

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