By Mandy Tanner
Crispy, cheesy, and full of tender, fragrant beef—it’s hard to beat the pleasures of a birria taquito. And while birria tacos became all the rage on social media, we find that rolling everything up in a tight little package makes them perfect finger food and easier to dip in the aromatic braising liquid. This is a phenomenal way to feature leftover brisket cooked on your Traeger.
|white onion, chopped
|inch ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
|sprigs of fresh thyme
|dry oregano, preferably Mexican
|freshly ground black pepper
|white or apple cider vinegar
|homemade or unsalted beef broth
|dried bay leaf
|cooked brisket, fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces
|ball Oaxaca cheese (10 to 12 oz)
|Canola oil, for frying
|corn tortillas, 6"
|Fresh cilantro, for serving
|lime wedges, for serving
Make the adobo sauce: Stem the chiles, split them lengthwise with scissors or a knife, then remove any seeds or large ribs.
Heat a medium cast iron or other heavy-duty skillet over medium heat on the Traeger Induction cooktop or on a stove. Toast the chiles, flipping them occasionally, until darkened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and enough hot water to cover. Cook until the vegetables have softened, another 5 to 8 minutes.
Strain the mixture discarding the cooking liquid. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and add the thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cumin. Add the vinegar and 1 cup cold water, then blend until well pureed. (The adobo sauce can be made ahead and kept covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen for longer.)
Braise the brisket: Transfer the puree to a large, heavy-duty pot. Add the beef broth, bay leaf, and cooked brisket. Cover the pot to keep any bubbling at bay and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the brisket is heated through and fall-apart tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the brisket to a bowl. Pour a ladleful of the cooking liquid over it. Using heat gloves or two forks, shred the brisket. Strain some of the remaining broth into a bowl or bowls for serving. (Reserve and freeze any that remains for future good eating.)
Make the taquitos: Slice the Oaxaca cheese into logs about 3-inches long and between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towel and place a rack on it. Set a deep, heavy-duty pot filled no more than halfway with oil on the Traeger Induction cooktop. Clip a deep fry thermometer to the pot and heat the oil over medium heat.
As the oil heats, carefully dip a tortilla into the warm oil for about 5 seconds to make it pliable for rolling. Transfer to the rack to drain. Pat dry with paper towel, if necessary, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Place a log of Oaxaca cheese toward the center of one cooled tortilla, then then top with some shredded brisket. Roll the tortilla up tightly and secure with a toothpick threaded lengthwise along the seam. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese, and brisket.
Heat the oil for frying to between 350°F and 375°F. Working in small batches, fry the taquitos until crispy and golden brown, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Carefully transfer the cooked taquitos to the rack to drain. Let cool slightly before removing and discarding the toothpicks.
Serve the taquitos with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, if desired, and the reserved strained braising broth for dipping. Enjoy!
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