Weeknight Wonder: Easy Beef Birria Tacos

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Birria is a delicious and versatile Mexican dish that has taken the internet by storm. Traditionally made with slow-cooked goat meat, this recipe offers a simplified version using readily available beef. The resulting dish is bursting with flavor, thanks to a blend of warming spices and rich consommé. Whether you enjoy it in tacos, quesadillas, or simply spooned over rice, birria is guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.


Homemade Beef Birria
Homemade Beef Birria

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 4 guajillo chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 ancho chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 pasilla chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (canned), seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • White onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • Limes, cut into wedges (for garnish)
  • Corn tortillas (for serving)

  • Directions:

    1. Toast the Chiles: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo, ancho, pasilla, and chipotle chiles (if using) until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 5 minutes per side. Keep a watchful eye to avoid burning. Transfer the toasted chiles to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes, until softened.
    2. Blend the Marinade: While the chiles soak, combine the white onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, cloves, and black peppercorns in a blender. Drain the softened chiles, reserving about 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Add the drained chiles and reserved liquid to the blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
    3. Marinate the Beef: In a large bowl, toss the beef chunks with the prepared marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight for deeper flavor.
    4. Slow Cook the Birria: Transfer the marinated beef and all its juices to a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Pour in the beef broth and apple cider vinegar. Season generously with salt. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the beef is very tender and easily shreds with a fork.
    5. Shred the Beef: Once cooked, remove the beef from the cooking liquid using a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool slightly. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Discard any large pieces of fat.
    6. Strain the Consommé (Optional): If desired, strain the remaining cooking liquid into a bowl, discarding any solids. This flavorful consommé can be used for dipping or spooned over rice with the birria. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the consommé before serving.
    7. Assemble and Serve: Warm corn tortillas according to package instructions. Fill each tortilla with shredded birria. Garnish with chopped cilantro, thinly sliced white onion, and a squeeze of lime. Serve with the reserved consommé for dipping, if desired.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving, without tortillas):

    Calories: Approximately 450 (depending on fat content of beef)

  • Fat: 30g
  • Protein: 40g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Sodium: Varies depending on added salt

  • Conclusion:

    Birria is a delightful and easy-to-make dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. The combination of slow-cooked tender beef, a rich and flavorful consommé, and fresh toppings makes this a truly satisfying meal. So ditch the takeout menus and whip up a batch of birria at home. You won’t be disappointed!


    1. Can I substitute the beef with another type of meat?

    Absolutely! While traditionally made with goat, birria can be made with various cuts of beef, lamb, or even chicken. Just adjust the cooking time based on the chosen protein.

    2. What if I don’t have all the dried chiles?

    No worries! You can substitute with a combination of ground guajillo and chipotle chile powder to achieve a similar smoky flavor profile. Start with 1 tablespoon each and adjust to your preference.

    3. How can I make the birria even spicier?