During my time in Mexico I had some truly delicious dishes and I would say that one of my favorites was birria, a delicious stew which is great for all occasions and which has been known to cure just about anything.

Much like the rest of us there are certain dishes which are served in Mexico which are known to have certain properties which can help us out. For example if you have a hangover then foods like Barbacoa and Chilaquiles, if you are feeling particularly patriotic then you can go for the delightful chile en nogada and if you are feeling in need of a cure, for just about anything, then birria is your go-to.

The Stew

This stew in particular originates from the state of Jalisco and it is traditionally served with goat meat, in most places however you will find it made with mutton or with beef. Historically this would be a meal which they would serve up at holidays like Easter and Christmas, but in reality there is never a bad time for birria. The meat itself is marinated in an adobo of dried chiles, usually 3 varieties, herbs, spices and some vinegar with plenty of beef broth or if the bones of the goat have been boiled then the birria will be prepared in that.

The stew is then served in a traditional Mexican fashion with corn tortillas, lime, cilantro and lime, and you sort of eat the soup as normal and then carve off some pieces of meat for your tortilla, being careful that there are no bones left inside.

The Cures

Mexicans, much like many in this continent, trust far more in way Mother Earth provides them with, than they do in drug companies, for better or ill. Birria, much like many stews around the world, have been known to work wonders for those who have a cold or the sniffles, but it has also been touted as a hangover cure, as well as a preventative hangover cure when consumed before a night out, some even say it can cure a case of gastritis, although on that one I am not completely convinced.

Buying

You could make birria at home but it is a rather lengthy process, a far better idea is to go out and for the very bets birrias I would actually stay awake from the street vendors and instead look for a restaurant which specializes in this delightful stew. The reasons for this is to maximize both the quality and the safety of the dish. I always get the feeling that street vendors don’t have the time or the preparation area to really create something which tastes as good as what the restaurants can prepare.

This is a delightful dish which could very well be the answer to your medical woes when you are in Mexico, and even if you are feeling fine, I’d certainly recommend that you try it out because it is just so damn tasty.