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In a large pot, add the beef, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 of the head of garlic, 18 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring up to a boil at medium heat. Skim off the top as needed. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking until the meat is tender(about 2 hours).
In a separate pot, add the dried chiles, remaining onion, 4-6 cloves of remaining garlic and 4 roma tomatoes, Cover with water and bring to a boil at medium heat. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes.
To the pot with tomatoes, add the canela, cloves, thyme, oregano, marjoram, cumin seeds and peppercorns. Let sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, using a wire mesh strainer, strain out the liquid from pot with tomatoes, reserving 1/2 of the cooking water. Transfer all the ingredients including any spices that are in the strainer to the blender, including the cooking water that you reserved. Also to the blender, add two cups of the beef broth from the cooked beef. Cover tightly and blend on high until smooth. let sauce settle and then blend on high again for 40 to 50 seconds.
Remove the onion and garlic from the pot with beef and discard. Using a fine wire strainer, strain the sauce from blender directly into the pot with beef. Add the bay leaves. Cook partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours or until the beef shreds apart easily. Taste for salt along the way.
You can serve the birria two ways. Serve in bowls with plenty of consomé. Garnish with onion, cilantro, lime and spicy red salsa. Or you can prepare crispy birria tacos or quesadillas and serve the consomé on the side.