Birria is a Mexican stew typically made with beef or goat meat. My grandmother was famous for her Thanksgiving Turkey Birria. I’ve been craving this dish for years and never felt confident to make it. Little did I know this is one of the easiest stews to put together especially when using leftovers!
Since one of the most leftover foods in the post thanksgiving feasts is turkey, I wanted to make my own take on birria. My grandmother use a whole raw turkey to do her birria but I’ve found using turkey leftovers is just as great!
To test out my recipe we purchased Jenni-O turkey breast at Walmart and cooked in the oven. I didn’t know Walmart had these grab bags of turkey available. Honestly the turkey went in frozen as directed and came out so delicious! A total win in my books!
I had my dad walk me through the actual sauce recipe because he knows it like the back of his hand. The ingredients are simple and I am so happy to share this easy delicious stew. It’s perfect for the cold weather season and holiday leftovers!
Ingredients for Turkey Birria
- 2-3 lbs of turkey meat
- 1pk of dried californian chiles
- 1pk of dried pasia chiles
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 large white onions
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- appx 2 cups of chile juice from boiling dried chiles
- appx 3 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of orange juice freshly squeezed or simply orange juice not concentrated
- Optional toppings- cilantro, onion, and limes
How to make Birria
Cut ingredients small enough to blend. Blend your ingredients in two parts.
Blend the onions, tomatoes, chiles, garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin, and 1-2 cups of water used to boil chiles.
You want the consistence to be like a runny salsa. It’s ok to add more water if needed because the juice of tomatoes vary. Once completely liquefied put in a container and blend your second half of ingredients.
Pass the liquefied juice through a mesh colander having the juice pour into the pot you will cook your birria in. Toss the pulp once all the juice seems to have seeped through.
TIP: use a larger colander than the one pictured it will make this process go faster. Use a spoon to get all the juice through leaving behind the pulp of your ingredients.
Add your 1/2 cup of orange juice and at least 2 cups of water. You want the consistency of your birria to be like a soup. Add salt for taste. Let your birria come to a boil and then add your turkey. Cook for an additional 1-2 hours at medium-low.
TIP: Add a few bones during cooking process from your turkey for added flavor!
Your birria should look like this. A bright colored stew.
Serve and top with onion, cilantro and lime juice. Enjoy this delicious stew made with Thanksgiving Leftovers!
What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftover dishes?
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