Leftover Birria Is The Luxurious Ingredient To Add To Your Next Grilled Cheese

Mexican cuisine has taken full advantage of its native crops, blending chilies, spices, and aromatics into the most flavorful salsas, stews, soups, and marinades. Birria is a perfect example of how Mexican seasonings magically transform goat or beef into a rich, flavorful, slow-cooked stew. While Mexicans traditionally eat birria with corn tortillas, it would also make the perfect addition to your next grilled cheese sandwich.

Birria hails from the Mexican state of Jalisco, where it's eaten as a stew or in birria tacos, which dip corn tortillas into birria broth and fry them before stuffing them with birria's tender lamb or beef. The famed border town of Tijuana took birria a step further with the creation of quesabirria, a birria-filled and dipped quesadilla. Since using birria as a cheesy quesadilla filling has reached global acclaim, stuffing birria inside a grilled cheese is a logical next step.

Birria's savory, spicy broth and melt-in-your-mouth meaty texture will instantly upgrade a simple grilled cheese sandwich. The richness of red meat holds up to any type of cheese you'd like to grill it with and adds juiciness and texture to your sandwich. Plus, you could dip your birria grilled cheese into the broth, or consome, as a major upgrade from typical tomato soup.

How to make birria grilled cheese

Stews taste better with time, so wasting leftover birria would be criminal. This novel twist on classic American comfort food uses every last shred of meat and drop of consommé. Making a birria grilled cheese is similar to making a quesabirria; you'll use the meat and broth separately.

A thick, sturdy slice of bread like sourdough or country bread would work best to hold up to the weight of the meat and cheese and absorb the consommé. You can use a sharp cheddar cheese, jack cheese, or a milk Mexican cheese like Oaxaca or panela. You start by grating cheese to optimize uniform melting and draining the birria meat of its consommé. Birria meat is already falling apart, but you could use a fork to shred it a bit further for the sandwich. Reserve the consommé for dipping.

To make the grilled cheese, you can butter one side of two slices of bread. Heat a griddle or pan and place one slice of bread, butter-side down on the skillet. You can then assemble the sandwich by first placing the shredded cheese on the bread, then the meat, followed by more cheese and the other slice of bread. It should take four minutes per side to melt the cheese and toast the bread. Serve it with a cup of consommé for a decadent umami dipping sauce. You could also sprinkle diced cilantro and white onion into your grilled cheese for Mexican authenticity.