I blame Chrissy Tiegen. She is the driving force behind so many tasty dishes I've tried, and shared with you.
Once, her husband surprised her with a taco food truck, and I was mesmerized by the seasoned shell and gooey cheese. And they were dipped in something au jus. Turns out they were birria tacos - a Jalisco specialty. I ate the less-traditional "quesabirria" - because cheese.
Unlike the traditional stew dish (pictured below), quesabirria is a grilled, cheesy taco for easy dipping into the stew. The shell features a red color from being dippped into the stew before tossing into a sizzling pan.
The particular food truck sent to her was in demand, and when I went to L.A. I stood in a ridiculous line just to get a taste (pictured top). It did not disappoint. At home, I wanted to replicate this recipe. But full transparency: we did a variation on the recipe based on what we had in the house. While the stew was delicious, we winged it. Here's a highly-rated recipe with over 400 reviews.
Making the stew for dipping is the most work, so make it in bullk, stack flat portions in the freezer, and enjoy as needed. And once the stew is cooked, making it is a cinch. Simply...
Dip your tortilla in the birria stew.
Toss in a hot pan with lard (we use bacon drippings), and top with meat.
Add cheese (not too hard or soft - think cheddar, colby or Monterey Jack.
Fold and flip.
Before I go, it's worth noting that the zestiness of the stew will make or break a dish. I wanted a tangy flavor to pop on my tortillas, so I added extra tomato paste, tons of squeezed lime and was generous with the Himalayan pink salt.