Birria (accent on the first syllable) is a spicy
Mexicanmeat stewusually made with goat, lamb, or mutton, often served during festive periods, such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, and weddings. Originally from Jalisco, it is a common dish in some Mexican food establishments. It is served with corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and lime.
Birria is made using a base of dried roasted peppers. This gives birria both its characteristic savoriness as well as its remarkable variety, as different cooks will chose different peppers to use for the broth base. Birria is served by combining a bowl of broth with freshly chopped roasted meat of the customer's choice. One eats it by filling a corn tortilla with meat, onions and cilantro, seasoning with fresh squeezed lime juice, and then dipping it into the broth before eating it. The broth itself is also eaten with a spoon or by drinking from the bowl.
A common icon in birria restaurants ("birrierías") is a pair of goat horns. The icon is used as a symbol of the proported aphrodisiac powers of birria, presumably tied to the general randiness of the goats from which it is made.
Guadalajara is famous for its "birrierías". Two locations within the city are particularly renowned for it: the food court in the "Mercado Libertad" (where the "birrierías" are located in the SW corner), and the "Plaza de las Nueve Esquinas", just south of the Templo San Francisco in the "Centro" (downtown).
In Central America and Southwest Mexico "birria" is slang for beer. In continental Spanish the word "birria" refers to something of poor quality. [http://www.wordreference.com/definicion/birria] It's thus likely that the stew is so named because of its working class origins.
Though commercially "birria" is made from goat or sheep, other meats can be used. For example, in coastal areas of Colima and Jalisco, where the
Green Iguanais common, Iguana meatis a traditional ingredient of "birria". [Martinez Campos - "Recetario" p. 38]
* García, Cornelio - "Recetario de la cuachala y la birria" - Mexico (2000) CONACULTA
* Martinez Campos, Gabriel - "Recetario Colimense de la iguana" - Mexico (2004) CONACULTA
A typical birriería in Guadalajara: [http://www.las9esquinas.com]
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