Slow Cooker Birria Tacos
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Slow Cooker Birria Tacos

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook/Slow Cook: 4 hours 55 minutes • Serves: 8

3 tablespoons canola oil
4 dried ancho and/or New Mexico chile peppers, chopped
3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large white onion, halved and chopped plus additional for garnish (optional)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded queso quesadilla cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges for garnish (optional)

1. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add dried peppers; toast 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer peppers to 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

2. In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat; sprinkle both sides of beef with salt and black pepper. In 2 batches, add beef to skillet and cook 4 minutes or until browned, turning once; transfer beef to slow cooker.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to same skillet with drippings; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cinnamon sticks, oregano and cumin; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1 cup stock; cook 1 minute or until slightly reduced, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet with wooden spoon. Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining 3 cups stock; cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours or until beef is very tender and shreds easily. Transfer beef to large bowl; with 2 forks, shred beef. Makes about 4 cups.

4. Remove cinnamon sticks; transfer remaining cooking liquid in slow cooker to blender and blend on high until smooth. Reserve 4 cups sauce; pour remaining sauce into wide, shallow dish. Heat griddle or medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, dip both sides of tortilla into sauce in dish and add to skillet; place 2 tablespoons queso on right side of tortilla and 1/4 cup beef on opposite side. Cook 2 minutes or until queso is slightly melted; fold queso-topped side of tortilla in half over beef and cook 4 minutes or until crisp, turning once.

5. Serve tacos with remaining sauce garnished with onion, cilantro and/or lime wedges, if desired.

Approximate nutritional values per serving (2 tacos, 1/2 cup sauce):
708 Calories, 41g Fat, 15g Saturated Fat, 186mg Cholesterol, 752mg Sodium,
33g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 4g Sugars, 0g Added Sugars, 52g Protein