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Mariachi Stew

Photo by by buckaroo kid

Mariachis at a special family party are what Santa Claus is to kids on Christmas Eve, no less thrilling for being completely expected.  When the appetizers have been passed, food served, and toasts made they seemingly fall from the sky.  In a moment, everyone is joining in a loud, emotional chorus of Cielito Lindo or El Rey.  Then just as quickly they move on to the next quince or wedding anniversary as the evening winds down.  The highpoint of any gathering yet they never stay long, and never eat.  So naturally I was fascinated by this Jonathan Kendall article from Saveur:

While their usual schedule is from dusk to midnight, they’re often called out of bed on short notice to sing amends beneath the balconies of peeved wives and girlfriends at dawn.

Like most mariachis, Barrón and Trujillo neither eat nor drink during work hours—but they agree that their favorite food is birria. No two versions of birria are alike—even the basic form may vary, from shredded meat to be eaten with a soupy sauce to a thick soupy stew with meat and sauce combined—and if a chef gains a reputation for his birria, his recipe will remain a closely guarded secret.

It makes sense that they would keep superhero hours, but it was the description of the off duty mariachis that I found riveting.

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