Birria Tacos, where have you been all my life 🤤??? The crispy tortilla, oozy cheese, and oh so savory pulled beef, boy are you delightful!!!
Birria is a Mexican Beef Stew that combines sweet, spicy, savory and sour flavors with a gorgons protein, like beef. Stuff the Birria into a tortilla and you have an AMAZING taco.
Look at that deliciousness 😋!!!
I hope you enjoy and cheers 🍻! If you give this recipe a try, please 🙏🏻 leave a comment.
Traditional Mexican Stew – Birria is traditionally cooked with goat, however, this recipe includes beef which has become more common in Birria. I opted for a well marbled beef chuck roast and beef short ribs. You want a cut with a bit of fat, so it can withstand the 3-4 hour cook time and will break down and become super tender. The stew is traditionally cooked in Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid. I don’t have a Dutch I trust on my stove top for searing beef, so I opted for my cast iron skillet. Once the meat had been seared in the cast iron, I added the tomato, onion, garlic, and spices and all those ingredients then got added to my Dutch oven. Traditionally, once those ingredients are in the Dutch oven, they are boiled on top of the stove top or in a fire outside; however, since I used a cast iron, I went directly in the oven with chilies on top of the stew. Traditionally, Birria is cooked with Banana leaves and since I wasn’t able to find these, I opted for foil. Keep in mind the banana leaves will introduce more flavor. Also a variety of chilies are used. I could only find ancho chilies (after looking at multiple markets), which is why I included quajillo chili powder. This recipe delivers a bit of sweetness and spiciness with a whole lot of savoriness. If you’re looking for more heat 🌶️, I’d add additional chilies or chili powder.
Preparing the Spices – Toast the dried whole spices, i.e. cinnamon, coriander seeds, peppercorns and allspice berries, you have because the heat will enhance the flavor. Once the whole spices have been toasted, add to the dried spices and blend into a delicious flavor bomb. That flavor bomb is further heated with the tomatoes, onions, and garlic. This is delivering deliciousness 😋 for the stew!!!
Finishing the Tacos – Finish with your favorite taco toppers. I opted for radish, pickled red onion, fresh cilantro, lime, and smashed avocado; however, you could opt for some yummy cream, like my Sriracha Lime Cream which you can find in my Beef Taco Tuesday post. Also don’t forget the consomé like I did because that delivers the ultimate Birria experience.
Leftover Goodness – Oh boy, are you in for a treat with these leftovers. Make more tacos, a delicious burrito, top a lunchtime salad or sandwich, opt for enchiladas, chili, or breakfast hash. Check out my Salsa Verde Pulled Pork Enchiladas post for enchilada inspiration. For my Birria Enchiladas, I added the Birria consomé to the bottom of the casserole dish and topped with chili cheese sauce because I had no salsa verde. For my Birria Chili, I used the remaining consomé instead of sauce sauce and boy was this dynamite!!! Check out my Beef Chili recipe for Birria Chili inspiration. Finally, dice up some potatoes, onion and some of that leftover Birria pulled beef for a yummy Birria Benedict!!!
- banana leaves, or foil like I used
Making the Birria
- 2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1 - 1½ inch pieces
- 1 lbs bone in beef short ribs
- kosher salt, for seasoning the meat and tomatoes, onions, and garlic
- neutral oil, for searing the meat
- 5 dried ancho chilies, softened with stems and seeds removed
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 TBSP whole coriander seeds
- 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
- 2 tsp guajillo chili powder
- 1 tsp allspice
- 6 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano, if you can't find it, regular oregano will work
- 1 large white onion, diced
- roma tomatoes, quartered
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 cups water
Making the Tacos
- corn tortillas
- queso Oaxaca, or mozzarella
- pickled red onion
- radish, sliced thinly
- cilantro, chopped
- lime, cut into wedges
Making the Birria
- Cut the beef chuck roast into 1 inch cubes. Arrange the beef chuck roast and short ribs on a baking sheet and coat each piece with salt. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
- Add the ancho chilies to a medium sized heat resistant bowl and cover with warm water and soak until softened, between 10-15 minutes. Once softened, remove the stems and seeds and set the chilies aside.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and peppercorns until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder containing the guajillo chili powder, allspice, bay leaves, and oregano and grind into a fine powder.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and remove the salted meat from the refrigerator. Using paper towels pat the meat dry. In a large Dutch oven (or cast iron skillet), heat 1/4 cup of a neutral oil on medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the seasoned meat and fry until golden brown, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove the seared meat from the oven/skillet and set aside.
- Add the onion and tomatoes and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic with a bit of salt and cook until fragrant. Add the ground spices and continue cooking until aromatic.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, water, seared meat, and chilies to the oven and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until the stew begins to thicken and the chilies are completely softened. Cover the stew with the foil or banana leaves, then place the lid on top. Transfer the stew to the oven and cook for 90 minutes. At that point, remove from the oven and blend the chilies. Place the blended chilies back into the stew and place back in the oven and cook until the meat is tender, approximately 90 minutes - 2 hours. If after 3 - 4 hours, the meat has some resistance, cover and cook longer, until very tender. Remove the stew from the oven and discard the foil or banana leaves, then remove the meat from the pot and transfer to a large bowl. Use a pair of tongs or forks, shred the meat. Reserve the broth (consomé).
Making the Tacos
- Dip a tortilla in the warm consomé, then lay flat in the hot oil. Fry on one side and flip. Add queso Oaxaca to the tortilla and shredded beef to one half. Fold the taco shut and cook until the cheese begins to melt. Flip the taco and continue cooking until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is oozing from the edges. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and birria.
- Serve the tacos with the consomé alongside and add your favorite toppers to the inside of the taco like pickled onions, sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges. Enjoy and cheers 🍻!