Thursday, February 7, 2013

Birrieria El Rincón del Oso in Mercado Hidalgo, Tijuana

Birreria El Rincón del Oso in Mercado Hidalgo

We went down to Tijuana last Sunday to revisit Mercado Hidalgo and have lunch at Birrieria El Rincón del Oso ("The Bear's Corner").

Birreria El Rincón del Oso in Mercado Hidalgo

As you might expect from its name, this place specializes in birria - more specifically, birria de chivo (stewed goat). The Sunday menu is more limited than what they offer during the week, but fortunately they were serving up the dishes we were after.

We had birria three different ways. First, the most traditional - a bowl of birria. They ask you what bits of the goat you want - we went with surtida (a mix of everything):

Birria at Birreria El Rincón del Oso

The meat was soft and succulent, and the broth was rich with a complex mixture of flavors. It came with a big stack of warm corn tortillas for dipping and rolling your own tacos.

The place is famous for their birria gorditas, so naturally we had to try one:

Birria Gordita at Birreria El Rincón del Oso

The masa shell was nicely puffy and crispy from frying. The birria meat inside was good, but a bit subdued. Spooning in a bit of broth from our bowl of birria livened it up considerably.

We also got a birria quesadilla - pretty much the same as the gordita, but cooked on the flattop instead of being fried:

Birria Quesadilla at Birreria El Rincón del Oso

The place had a warm and friendly feel - some tables filled with families on a Sunday outing, another occupied by a police officer downing a massive plate of food. Our waiter was very nice, and even though his rapid speech challenged my rudimentary Spanish we managed to interact without too much trouble.

We will definitely be back.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Uncommon cuts - Baseball Steak


It has been over four years since we posted our first "Uncommon Cuts" post on Bavette steak. While Bavette remains our favorite, we like variety and we get a few other less common cuts from Brandt Beef, the meat purveyor at our local farmers market. Pictured above is one of those cuts - a Baseball steak - cooked, resting and waiting to be eaten.

Basball steak is a delicious, small cut from the Top Sirloin:

Baseball Steak

Here it is with a dusting of salt, ready to be cooked:

Baseball Steak

After rubbing it with a bit of oil, it gets cooked in a hot frying pan for about 15 minutes - turning it every 3 minutes or so.

Baseball Steak

The result is a beautiful piece of meat, with a bit of crust on the outside and a nice medium rare center. Good stuff!