We’re headed down South with today's recipe of Tijuana-style beef birria phyllo bombs! Tender meat with a subtle heat in a buttery flaky phyllo crust dipped in mouthwatering juices? Sign me up. This is a wonderful recipe for a fiesta but you’ll want to do this on a night when you have some time. The longest part is cooking the meat in the instapot but outside of that, it’ll only take you about 40ish minutes to make the chili sauce, build birria phyllo bombs, and bake to perfection. We recommend serving up these birria phyllo bombs with our 4 ingredient guacamole, and our fresh homemade flour tortillas baked into tortilla chips.
Birria is a Mexican meat stew hailing from the state of Jalisco. It’s typically made of goat, beef, mutton, or chicken marinated in an adobo made of vinegar, chilies, garlic, and select herbs and spices that’s then cooked in a broth. Often served at celebrations like weddings or holidays like Christmas, the dish is widely popular. The origins of the dish date back to 1519, when Hernán Cortés and his merry band of Conquistadors landed in Mexico.
When they landed, they brought with them a great deal of the old world including livestock like goats. During their conquest of the Aztecs, the goats began to reproduce at an alarming rate which led to overpopulation. The Conquistadors decided to give a great deal of goats to the Aztecs. In general, Conquistadors looked down on goat meat because to them it was tough, had a pungent odor, and was hard to digest but to the native Aztecs they gladly accepted them.
The Aztecs would marinate the meat in many traditional indigenous cooking styles to make it more palatable and appetizing. These dishes were called birria by the Conquistadors, which was a derogatory term meaning worthless. There is a legend that the dish was made by accident during a volcano's eruption where a shepherd was forced to abandon his goats in a cave where they were cooked perfectly by the volcano’s steam.
The dish would evolve in 1950 when a taquero named Guadalupe Zárate set up a taco stand in Tijuana. At the time, goat meat was expensive and less fatty, so Zárate decided to try making birria with beef. A customer told Zárate to add more liquid to the meat, and the result is now the famous Tijuana-style beef birria. In modern times, Birria is a wide spread favorite across Mexico and the United States.