From: Aarûn Sanchez, Centrico, New York City. Yield: 10 servings.
4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 cascabel chile, stemmed and seeded
4 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 lb. beef ribs, cut into 2” pieces, bones attached (with fat trimmed)
1 medium white onion
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs
1 Tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 blanched baby carrots per serving, to garnish
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
for serving, corn tortillas additional thyme springs, to garnish
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. in a dry cast-iron skillet, toast the chiles over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Turn them and shake the pan so they don’t scorch. Put the toasted chiles in a bowl; cover with the boiling water, and let them soak until softened and reconstituted, about 20 minutes. Put the chiles, along with their soaking water, in a blender and purèe until completely smooth; you may have to do this in batches.
Put the ribs in a large, deep Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, spices and vinegar. Then add 3 quarts of water and the chile purèe. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.
Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool a bit. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.
Ladle the birria into large serving bowls and garnish with the thyme, carrots and lime. Serve with warm tortillas.