Tacos de Birria Recipe

5 from 1 vote

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Get ready to live! These Birria Tacos (or sometimes called Tacos de Birria) are slow braised beef that is cooked, then shredded and pan-fried in corn tortillas with shredded cheese. Top it off with white onion and fresh cilantro, then dip away in the thick and flavorful consommé (beef broth, also spelled “consome”) it is cooked in. You have never eaten such a decadent taco, and you will LOVE it.

birria tacos on plate

What Are Birria Tacos?

Like I mentioned above, Birria Tacos are based off of Birria, a Mexican stew that is slow-cooked in a flavorful savory and slightly spicy sauce. While you can enjoy this recipe just as a stew, I like to take it to the next level and turn it into crispy tacos by frying corn tortillas in a pan with Oaxaca cheese (a white, semi-hard, low-fat Mexican cheese) and the birria beef.

Top it with some white onion and fresh cilantro, then dip away in the cooking leftover sauce it braised in (the consomé). Truly heaven in a crispy tortilla.

Traditional Birria Stew vs. Birria Tacos – What Is Birria Meat Made Of?

Birria is a slow cooked stew, traditionally made with goat meat (or sometimes lamb meat). While this birria tacos recipe certainly would work by substituting out the shredded beef for the goat, it is harder to find and will certainly have a different flavor.

Most of the birrias recipes online call for beef chuck roast and sometimes beef short ribs (to help thicken the dipping sauce and add flavor). Feel free to use any combination of these cuts of stew meat.

Birria Tacos are simply this same stew meat fried in tortillas and turned into the best tacos ever. It’s a slightly crispy exterior with a creamy and flavorful filling. Topped with the much needed freshness of the onion and cilantro, it’s the perfect balance between salty, spicy and flavorful.

Birria Tacos: Flavor Packed, Slow Cooked

There is a reason this recipe is super popular on TikTok and Instagram….it’s a delicious, decadent taco that is flavor-city. Building that flavor takes time and the right Birria Tacos ingredients, but it is SO worth it. These delicious tacos do not disappoint.

Peppers to Use

  • Dried Guajillo Peppers – these are sweeter peppers and are added for flavor and not spice. You can find it in a Mexican grocery store or online. I paid $2.99 for a bag. If you can’t find Guajillo peppers, try dried ancho chiles. But be warned that ancho chiles do have a little more heat than the Guajillos.
  • Dried Chiles de Arbol – chili peppers are added for flavor, but mainly for heat. A little goes a long way! These dried Mexican peppers are about 6 times spicier than jalapeños. I marked these as optional on the Birria Tacos recipe card. I did not use these the first time I made this because I was feeding it to my children, and they don’t handle spicy foods well.
  • Jalapeños – I love the flavor of cooked jalapeno, plus it adds a little heat to the overall beef Birria Tacos. I remove the ribs and seeds for the least amount of heat.

Lots of Spices, But all Important for the Best Birria Recipe!

The flavor profile of the cooked beef Birria is layered and complex, and that is thanks to all of these spices! They are all fantastic, and I used everything in this authentic Birria recipe for a reason:

  • Cinnamon Stick – adds warmth; you won’t taste cinnamon in the finished dish (this can be substituted for whole or ground clove for an even warmer flavor!)
  • Smoked Paprika – love the light smoky flavor this adds
  • Cumin – a classic spice for Mexican food
  • Oregano – really common in Mexican cooking…look for Mexican Oregano for bonus points
  • Bay Leaves – adds a mild and light undertone. Again, you won’t notice that it’s been added, but it makes a difference.
browned meat on plate

How to Make Birria Tacos and Consome – an Easy Birria Tacos Recipe

Slow and steady wins the race…or, in this case enjoys the best Birria Tacos. Here’s how to make homemade beef Birria Tacos from scratch:

Toast & Reconstitute Dried Chile Peppers

Cut open dried guajillo chiles and chiles de Arbol (if using; see notes below) using scissors and remove seeds and dried stems. Add to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, careful not to burn.

Once they start becoming fragrant, add water to cover and bring water to a boil. Once water has boiled, turn off completely and let the chiles sit for 15-20 minutes. Discard water and reserve reconstituted chiles. This water can be bitter, so I prefer to discard it.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Brown the Birria Tacos Meat

In a large dutch oven pot, heat olive oil (or other vegetable oil) over medium high heat. Pat all pieces of meat dry with paper towels and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Brown meat in batches, searing a few pieces at a time as not to crowd the pan. Place browned meat onto a plate and continue browning until all meat has been seared.

Make the Sauce

Cut 3/4 of the white onion into large chunks. Finely dice the remaining 1/4 onion and reserve for serving. Crush the garlic cloves. De-seed the jalapeno peppers and chop roughly.

In the same hot pot, reduce heat to medium and add in onion, jalapeno and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 2 minutes to brown slightly and get a little color. Add in a cinnamon stick, smoked paprika, oregano and cumin. Stir and cook for another minute. Deglaze pan with beef stock and vinegar. Remove from heat.

Spoon pot contents into a blender or a food processor. Add in reconstituted peppers and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. Blend until smooth. Taste sauce and add salt if necessary.

Braise Birria

Add browned meat back to the dutch oven and pour sauce overtop. Add bay leaves. Bake covered 3-3.75 hours or until meat is very tender.

Shred the Birria for Tacos

Remove meat from braising liquid and shred using two forks. Remove excess fat and gristle and discard. The shredded meat should be moist, but feel free to add in a little extra cooking liquid.

Spoon off excess fat from the top of the cooking liquid and reserve for frying tacos. Add extra beef stock to thin out sauce, if desired. Set the shredded meat aside and keep warm.

Make Birria Tacos

Place 8″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of the corn tortilla with reserved fat. Make the tortilla warmer by placing it on a hot skillet. Top tortilla with 3-4 tablespoons of shredded Oaxaca cheese and warm shredded birria.

Once you get melty cheese and when the tortilla is starting to get crispy, fold into a taco and remove from the pan. Continue to pan-fry tacos. The house smells amazing at that point!

shredded birria meat in bowl

Serve Birria Tacos with Consommé (Cooking Beef Broth)

Top birria tacos with reserved white onion and cilantro. Ladle warm beef broth into a bowl as a dipping sauce and serve tacos on the side with lime wedges. I find that these tacos by themselves are fine, but are so much more delicious with the fresh hit of the onion, cilantro and the squeeze of fresh lime juice. The acid and freshness really goes a long way.

What Cheese To Use for Birria Tacos

I would recommend using a good Mexican melting cheese like Oaxaca or Queso Asadero. Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese is a great substitute, but honestly you can use what you have. As long as it melts and is mild in flavor, it should do the trick in these tacos.

Making Birria Ahead and/or Storing Leftovers

The beauty of this Birria Taco recipe is you can easily make the Birria (chuck roast or other stew portion) of this recipe days in advance and then fry up the tacos as you’d like. Freshly made birria can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Birria?

Yes, you can freeze birria. Birria freezes VERY well as long as it is stored correctly. Since this is a such a labor of love, I always make extra so that I can freeze and have some ready to go when I want it. Allow birria to cool completing to room temperature before storing in a freezer safe airtight container. For the best quality, it’s generally recommended to consume it within 2-3 months.

How to Reheat Birra Tacos

If you have leftover birria meat, reheat the meat and consume on the stove or in the microwave, and then fry the Birria Tacos according to the recipe card below. If you have already assembled the birria queso tacos, you can reheat the whole taco in a skillet on the stove over medium low heat, flipping to heat both sides. Alternatively, you can reheat in an air fryer. The microwave is another option, but keep in mind that they won’t be crispy.

birria tacos on plate

What to Serve with Birria Tacos

Here are some of my favorite Mexican Sides. While you can fill up completely just on these tacos, having a delicious variety is great!

Birria vs Barbacoa

What is the difference between Beef Birria and Beef Barbacoa? While both Birria and Barbacoa use similar meats and cooking methods, the flavor profiles are quite different. Birria is spicy and robust with a deep, earthy taste due to dried chilies and warm spices. Barbacoa is tender, smoky, and subtly flavored, with a focus on the meat’s natural taste.

As a fun fact, I want to mention that there is also another variety of this dish called Quesabirria Tacos – a mix between Birria Tacos and Quesadilla. Who knows, maybe I’ll try to make my own Quesabirria Tacos one day, too!

Anyways, there you have the super popular and absolutely delicious Birria Tacos! It’s a delicious and easy Birria recipe I hope you will try this week! Be sure to save/bookmark/print/pin/share this 5-star recipe. It’s a good one you will want to make again and again. Have a great day, friends!

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

birria tacos on plate
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5 from 1 vote

Tacos de Birria Recipe – Authentic Taste of Mexico (Tacos de Birria Receta)

These 5-star Birria Tacos are a slow braised beef that is cooked then shredded and fried in corn tortillas with cheese.
servings 24 tacos
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Birria

  • 3 dried guajillo chiles (or 2-3 ancho chiles, if they're easier to get in your local grocery store)
  • 1-2 dried chiles de Arbol optional; see notes below
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3.5 pounds chuck roast cut into large pieces
  • 3 pounds short ribs (4-5 short ribs)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 14.5 oz fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 large bay leaves

For the Tacos

  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 16 oz Oaxaca cheese grated
  • chopped cilantro, white onion, lime wedges for serving

Equipment

  • 1 dutch oven
  • 1 8" nonstick skillet

Instructions

Toast & Reconstitute Dried Chiles

  • Cut open dried guajillo chiles and chiles de Arbol (if using; see notes below) using scissors and remove seeds and dried stems. Add to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Once they start becoming fragrant, add water to cover and bring water to a boil. Once water has boiled, turn off completely and let the chiles sit for 15-20 minutes. Discard water and reserve reconstituted chiles.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown the Meat

  • In a large dutch oven pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Pat all pieces of meat dry with paper towels and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Brown meat in batches, searing a few pieces at a time as not to crowd the pan. Place browned meat onto a plate and continue browning until all meat has been seared.

Make the Sauce

  • Cut 3/4 of the white onion into large chunks. Finely dice the remaining 1/4 onion and reserve for serving. Crush the garlic. De-seed the jalapeno peppers and chop roughly.
  • In the same hot pot, reduce heat to medium and add in onion, jalapeno and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 2 minutes to brown slightly and get a little color. Add in cinnamon, smoked paprika, oregano and cumin. Stir and cook for another minute. Deglaze pan with beef stock and the apple cider vinegar (or other white distilled vinegar you have). Remove from heat.
  • Spoon pot contents into a blender. Add in reconstituted peppers and can of fire roasted tomatoes. Blend until smooth. Taste sauce and add salt if necessary.

Braise Birria

  • Add browned meat back to the dutch oven and pour sauce overtop. Add bay leaves. Bake covered 3-3.75 hours or until meat is very tender.

Shred the Birria for Tacos

  • Remove meat from braising liquid and shred using two forks. Remove excess fat and gristle and discard. Meat should be moist, but feel free to add in a little extra cooking liquid.
  • Spoon off excess fat from the top of the cooking liquid and reserve for frying tacos. Remove and discard bay leaves. Add extra beef stock to thin out sauce, if desired. Set aside and keep warm.

Make Birria Tacos

  • Place a 8" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of the corn tortilla with reserved fat. Place the tortilla onto a hot skillet. Top tortilla with 3-4 tablespoons of shredded oaxaca cheese and warm shredded birria.
  • Once cheese has melted completely, and tortilla is starting to get crispy, fold into a taco and remove from the pan. Continue frying tacos.

Serve Birria Tacos with Jus

  • Top birria tacos with reserved white onion, cilantro. Ladle warm beef broth dipping sauce into a bowl and serve tacos on the side with lime wedges.

Video

Notes

Dried Chiles de Arbol are very spicy peppers- they run around 15,000-30,000 Scoville Units. This is six times hotter than jalapenos or chipotle peppers. I marked them as optional. I did not use them because I was feeding this to children, but feel free to make this as spicy as you’d like.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 338mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: birria tacos

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8 Responses
  1. Denzel

    I loved this recipe! but I also used the 123 method using a product called insta-birria by el sabor products. If you look them up on google they should pop up. Their flavor is out of this world! its easy and simple. just add water, sauce and meat. I loved both recipes but insta-birria had a flavor that just blew my mind. so flavourful. I love my birria.

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