what is beef birria tacos

Mexican birria tacos, Jalisco-style, made with braised beef that’s slow-cooked in a fragrant 3-chile sauce with a delicious spice mix. Crispy tacos, and tender, mouth-watering beef team up with melted Mexican cheese in this impressive meal. This recipe takes a little time but it’s so worth it!

Birria tacos are so good you’ll be making them every week. Because Steph still has RSI, I’ve been making all our dinners while we chat and watch youtube each night, and in our house that always means taco nights. While our go-to tacos are al pastor, carnitas, carne adovada, and carne asada, Steph asked to mix things up a bit with something a little more modern, and suggested birria tacos. It was so good and so simple I think this just jumped to the top of the list for all of our future taco nights.

Some Notes on the Ingredients:

  • Short Ribs (Bone-in)– This can be substituted for any cut of meat, or simply beef bone. We need the bone for the broth. This is what is going to give us that nice thick texture to the broth/consomme.
  • Guajillo Peppers: (2500-5000 SHU) these are a very common Chile used in Mexican cooking. Adjust the Chile used if needed, these are very mild and give color and flavoring to the broth. If you want heat you can add in a Chile de Arbol if desired. My preference is to start with the guajillo peppers and then add in chili powder as needed for flavor and coloring as the soup cooks.
  • Carrots: this is a unique ingredient not in most recipes for birria. Adding the carrots give a bit of sweetness and color to the broth and just adds to the flavoring.

Homemade Birria de Res in Step by Step Photos:

  • Grab a very large pot! This recipe fills up my 7 qt dutch oven to the very top.
  • Prepare the ingredients: halve the onion, slice the carrots, cut the tip off the garlic bulb, cut off stem of peppers and remove seeds.
  • Simmer: Add all the ingredients to the stock pot and cover with water. Add in the seasonings, except for the chili powder.

what is beef birria tacos

  • Skim: After 30 minutes of simmering skim the top of the broth to remove any impurities that have come out of the bones from simmering. It will look like little bits of foam on the top of the broth.
  • Blend Peppers: remove the peppers from the broth, they will be softened, add them to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add a small amount of broth if needed to get a nice smooth texture.

what is beef birria tacos

  • Simmer: continue to let the stew simmer until the meat is tender and easily shreds. This takes about 3 hours or longer. Remove the lid and stir every 40 minutes or so. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings as needed during the cooking process.

To serve this as a stew, skim the grease off the top of the broth, SAVE THIS if you will be making tacos, the tortillas are fried in the grease. Serve up the stew by spooning up some of the meat and the broth. Remove the onion, garlic, and carrots. These of course can be served with the stew if desired, but typically just the broth and the meat is served.

Top with fresh diced onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. The broth is thick and rich and the fresh acidity of these ingredients complement the flavoring perfectly.

what is beef birria tacos

Follow these easy directions to create those instagrammable tacos that have everyone drooling.

  • Chop the meat: remove the meat from the broth and finely chop.
  • Use the leftover grease: save the grease that comes to the top of the stew from cooking. Save it all and add the grease to a small/medium size skillet.
  • Fry Tortillas: dip the corn tortillas into the grease, then place the tortilla on a large skillet or comal. Fry the tortillas in the grease over medium heat. Top the tortilla with chopped birria beef and shredded cheese. Fold the taco over while it’s frying, pressing down with the spatula to help flatten the taco. Fry both sides until the taco is crisp.

Use a cheese that melts nicely! I love using a Quesadilla cheese, it’s labeled quesadilla cheese and is usually with the Mexican cheeses at the market. You can also use Monterey Jack, Mozarella, or Oaxaca cheese.

what is beef birria tacos

  • Serve with consommé: spoon some of the broth into a small bowl, top this with cilantro and onion and serve alongside the tacos. This is perfect for dipping the tacos in, or simply drink it. It’s bone broth, and has a lot of benefits, plus it’s absolutely delicious!

what is beef birria tacos

what is beef birria tacos

What are Birria Tacos?

Birria is traditionally a spicy and super savory Mexican beef or goat stew that’s slow cooked until the meat is tender and fall-apart juicy and delicious. Someone had the amazing idea to stuff this meaty goodness into a taco shell, and then dip the whole thing into the stew and fry it up. These birria tacos blew up after that, and the rest is history.

While birria is traditionally made with goat, for most of us it’s easier to get beef so that’s what I’ve gone with here. Beef is also the safer choice for crowds, but if you’re an adventurous eater and want to go with goat, you should totally go(at) for it. The recipe remains the same, just switch out the beef shank and sirloin for goat.

Mexican birria tacos, Jalisco-style, made with braised beef that’s slow-cooked in a fragrant 3-chile sauce with a delicious spice mix. Crispy tacos, and tender, mouth-watering beef team up with melted Mexican cheese in this impressive meal. This recipe takes a little time but it’s so worth it!


How are birria tacos different from regular tacos?

Birria from Jalisco, Mexico Birria tacos, also known as tacos de birria or quesabirria tacos, include braised meat and cheese inside a pan-fried corn tortilla. Birria tacos were originally made with goat meat, but locally they are often made with beef, melty Oaxacan cheese, cilantro, lime and white onion.

What kind of animal is birria tacos?

Birria is a wonderful traditional Mexican dish, originally made with goat meat, but now can be found made with beef, veal, lamb, or pork.

Is beef birria just barbacoa?

The difference in the two dishes comes down to the meat. Birria is made with beef or goat meat, while barbacoa is made with beef, pork, lamb or goat. Both dishes are delicious, and you can’t go wrong with either one. So, if you’re looking for a tasty Mexican dish, be sure to try barbacoa at Hacienda Colorado.

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