We.  Are.  So.  BUSY.

To illustrate, we now have 30 pints of green beans, 30 pints of chicken stock, 15 pints of bread and butter pickles and 15 pints of garlic dill pickles in our basement.  Another 30 pints of green beans will follow, along with beef stock, pickled beets, pumpkin, butternut squash, tomato sauce, ketchup and barbecue sauce.  We’ll also vacuum pack and freeze as many other fruits and vegetables as we can get our hands on before the season is over.

It’s all great fun, to say nothing of gratifying, but we’re pooped.

Yesterday was Day 6 of the Whole30 – I ate breakfast!!  Beloved told me the other day, “You’re sure making this sound like a diet, skipping breakfast all the time…”  What can I say?  I’m rarely hungry in the morning.  However, you tend to eat when your husband shoves a plate of food in front of you, so breakfast was 2 eggs scrambled in coconut oil, one of the little zucchini fritters leftover from Sunday and about half a cup of cubed cantaloupe.

When we got home for lunch yesterday, we realized we had no leftovers so we quickly thawed some locally-caught fish we had lurking in the freezer – mostly perch, with a couple of small pieces of bass.  I gave it an egg wash, then dredged it in a combination of almond and tapioca flour seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne, and pan-fried it in a little non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening.  We ate it with some spicy mayo (homemade mayo mixed with just a touch of hot sauce and apple cider vinegar), pan-roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, sliced tomato and fresh watermelon.

After work, we ran The Young One to his new driver’s ed class (my wallet is shuddering at the very thought), then we ran out to the local community pool and swam laps for about 20 minutes.  At home, we canned the 15 jars of garlic dill pickles and had this for dinner (thank goodness I’d had the foresight to think of the crock pot in the morning before we went to work).

Birria is a spicy Mexican meat stew usually made with goat meat and often served at special occasions, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day, and birthday partys.  Originally from Jalisco, it is one of those dishes that differs from region to region, and even cook to cook.  It is traditionally served with corn tortillas, which I – naturally – skipped, and instead opted for avocado and diced tomatoes.

Was it good?  Well, Beloved went back for seconds, and the only reason he didn’t eat another serving is because we ran out of avocado.

Yup.  It was good.  (Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients, because it was dead simple, too.)

Note:  This is almost the last of Pete the Goat; we only have a couple of chops and one rack of him left.  If you’re not fortunate to have two small legs of goat (we’d already eaten his shanks) in your freezer, a 3 pound pork roast or 3 pounds of skinless, bone-in chicken thighs would work just as well (lamb is also common in authentic birria).  I also realize that not everyone can be at home halfway through the cooking time to add the kale, so if you have to, add it at the beginning.  It’s a pretty hearty green and should hold up well to the long cooking, but since that’s not what I did, I can make no promise about the outcome.

Serves: 6
  • 4 pounds goat leg, with bone
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers seeded and minced
  • 6 cups kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the kale, avocado and diced tomato in a large crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir the kale into the stew, cover again and cook for an additional 4 hours.
  2. Remove the leg bone(s) from the stew, and using two forks, shred the meat; stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Divide between six bowls; top with sliced avocado and diced tomatoes and serve.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 400 calories, 11.7g total fat, 131.7mg cholesterol, 673.8mg sodium, 1713.4mg potassium, 21g carbohydrates, 5.9g fiber, 5.6g sugar, 53.2g protein


11 thoughts on “Birria”

  1. I know, aren’t I spoiled? The fresh avocado and especially the local fresh tomatoes on top gave this really hearty meal quite a light cooling summery taste. I loved this! When’s lunch?

    1. No doubt! And I’m gonna stay healthy too and live a long life. It’s a good thing because the next one won’t be so kind! 😉

    1. Nope, no alcohol. Which, amazingly, has been the easiest part of the plan to adhere to.

      Fermented foods are definitely allowed – I keep forgetting to list the small glass of kombucha we have every day, but fermented doesn’t necessarily mean alcoholic. The fermentation is designed to increased the good bacteria your gut needs to properly function. It’s probiotic.

  2. Hey there – can you confirm that you only needed two cups of chicken stock for this stew? With 4 pounds of meat, that seems awfully small. But the soup looks delicious! I love kale and can’t wait to try cooking this.

    1. Nicholas – yes, only 2 cups of chicken stock. The total weight of both goat legs was maybe 4 pounds, but they still had the bones in them, so I’d dare say there was only 3 pounds of meat. At any rate, I didn’t want to cover the meat with the stock, because it’s been my experience most meats prepared in a slow cooker or crock pot give off plenty of liquid and fat of their own, unless the cut is very, very lean (which the goat legs were not).

      I might also add that my original intention was to make chili, but without any thickening agent (something I wanted to avoid), it was more stew-like. And before I knew it, I had Birria rather than goat chili.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply, Jan! I’ll look into alternative meats since I don’t have any Pete handy. 🙂

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