Crispy, drippy, and delicious, is the only way to describe this Birria Tacos recipe! They are packed with flavor which everyone will love!
There is nothing better than a delicious homemade taco when you are craving a little fiesta in your life. Other delicious taco recipes you have to check out are my Asadero Cheese and Steak Tacos, Vegan Carnitas Tacos, and Skinny Baja Fish Tacos!
Messy, Yet Delicious
Since this Birria Tacos recipe takes time to cook the savory Mexican beef, you know that it is going to make an incredible dish. Well, these tacos are incredible! It does take some time to cook the meat, but when you see the tender meat fall off the bone, you know you are in for an amazing meal. I love Birria Tacos, because making and eating them really is an experience. Grabbing a hot and freshly made taco and dipping it into the reserved broth it was cooking in with freshly chopped onions and cilantro, *chef’s kiss*, it’s incredible.
For the Beef Filling and Broth
3 lbs. chuck roast
2 lbs. short ribs
1 large white onion
1 garlic bulb – narrow top cut off
4 large carrots – each cut into 4 large pieces
5 bay leaves
8 guajillo chiles – stems cut and seeds removed
3 Tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 cups water
¼ cup beef broth – or chicken broth
For the Taco Assembly
12-16 white corn tortillas
2 cups quesadilla cheese
1 cup white onion – diced
2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
How to make Birria Tacos
Assemble your ingredients. For exact amounts see the recipe card below.
In a large Dutch oven, add in the meat, onion, garlic bulb, carrots, bay leaves and dried guajillo peppers and cover the ingredients with water.
Next, add in the chicken bullion, oregano, cumin, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
After 30 minutes, skim the top of the pot to remove any impurities from the bone cooking out. (This looks like bits of foam on the top). At this point it will look like a beef stew, but we are making tacos!
Then, remove the guajillo chiles from the pot and place them in a blender with ¼-½ cup of broth and blend until smooth.
If necessary, strain the blended chiles to remove the skin bits and then return the blended chilies mixture back into the pot and stir in to combine.
Next, add in the chili powder.
Cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender and will shred on its own. Be sure to stir every 30 minutes or so.
After it has cooked, turn off the heat and remove the meat pieces from the pot to shred. Be sure to remove and throw away the bones in the process.
After the meat is shredded, use a ladle and skim off any excess grease that rises to the surface of the cooking liquid, then use the ladle to remove the broth from the pot into a large bowl on the side, this is the sauce you will use for making your tacos.
Grab a large cast iron skillet and heat on your stovetop over medium heat
Dip a corn tortilla into the reserved sauce and place into your skillet. Then on one side of the taco add your quesadilla cheese and shredded meat. Because we are adding melty cheese in with the beef birria, these are also called quesabirria tacos. Fold over the other half of the tortilla and cook each side until you get a nice crisp exterior.
Repeat with the remainder of ingredients.
Then, in a ramekin add in additional broth from the pot and top with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro for dipping your beef birria tacos.
Finally serve with lime wedges on the side and enjoy!
Delicious Sides to serve with these Birria Tacos
In addition to Mexican Rice, here are some delicious sides to serve with these birria tacos.
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Cheesy Mexican Cornbread
- Queso Fundido Colorado
- Mexican Pinto Bean Soup
- Easy Mexican Refried Beans
Storing and Reheating Birria Tacos
How to store birria tacos? Store birria tacos in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. If you haven’t make all the meat into tacos, then you can freeze the leftover meat in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to reheat birria tacos? You can reheat these tacos in the oven or an air fryer. Here are both methods. The best way to reheat these tacos is in an air fryer. Set your air fryer to 350°F (180°C). Place your leftover tacos in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Heat them for 4 or 5 minutes. Once they are fully heated, serve immediately. You should check on the tacos every 2 minutes to make sure the taco shells don’t get burned, as this can happen quickly in the air fryer.
For the oven method, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the leftover birria tacos on a wire rack and set the rack over a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until warm in the middle. Once heated, serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Birria is a traditional Mexican stew made with goat meat, although it can also be made with beef, lamb, or pork. The meat is slow-cooked with a variety of spices and seasonings until it is tender and flavorful. The stew is often served with corn tortillas, lime wedges, and a variety of toppings such as chopped onions, cilantro, and hot sauce.
Barbacoa, on the other hand, is a Mexican-style barbecue that typically involves cooking beef, lamb, or goat meat over an open fire or in a pit. The meat is often seasoned with spices and wrapped in banana leaves before being slow-cooked for several hours until it is tender and flavorful. Barbacoa is often served with tortillas, lime wedges, and various toppings such as chopped onions, cilantro, and salsa.
So, while birria and barbacoa are both slow-cooked Mexican meat dishes, they differ in terms of the specific cooking techniques, seasonings, and accompaniments used.
There are a few possible reasons why your birria tacos may be turning out soggy:
1. Excess liquid in the meat: If your birria meat has too much liquid, it can make your tacos soggy. Try draining any excess liquid before assembling your tacos.
2. Overstuffing the tacos: If you’re filling your tacos with too much meat or toppings, it can cause the tortillas to become soggy. Try using less filling per taco to prevent them from becoming too soggy.
3. Using low-quality tortillas: Low-quality tortillas can become soggy more easily. Try using fresh, high-quality tortillas that are thick enough to hold the filling without falling apart.
4. Letting the tacos sit too long: If you assemble your tacos too far in advance, the moisture from the filling can cause the tortillas to become soggy. Try assembling your tacos just before serving to keep them as crisp as possible.
When prepared properly, birria should not be excessively greasy. However, some amount of fat is usually necessary to keep the meat moist and tender during the long cooking process.
If your birria seems excessively greasy, it could be due to a few reasons. One possible cause is that you are using meat that is too fatty. In this case, try using leaner cuts of meat or trimming off any excess fat before cooking.
Another possible cause of excessive greasiness is that you are not skimming off the grease during the cooking process. It’s important to skim off any excess grease that rises to the surface of the cooking liquid to help prevent the meat from becoming greasy.
Overall, a well-made birria should have a good balance of flavors and textures without being overly greasy.
When making birria, there are options for the type of beef that is used. We love the combination of beef chuck roast and beef short ribs in our recipe and think that it is the best.
The traditional cut of beef that is often used is beef cheek (also known as beef cheeks or carrillada de res in Spanish). Beef cheek is a tough, flavorful cut of meat that is well-suited for slow cooking, which is essential to develop the rich and complex flavors of birria.
The other cut of beef that can be used for birria is the beef shank.
Whether you use beef chuck roast, beef short ribs, beef shank, beef check or a combination. All of these cuts of meat are well-suited for slow cooking and have good marbling, which adds flavor and tenderness to the meat.
Ultimately, the most important factor when choosing a cut of beef for birria is to select a cut that can withstand the long cooking process required to develop the rich flavors and tender texture of the dish. Any of these beef cuts listed here are good.
Birria Tacos Recipe
- 3 lbs chuck roast
- 2 lbs short ribs
- 1 large white onion
- 1 garlic bulb - narrow top cut off
- 4 large carrots - each cut into 4 large pieces
- 5 bay leaves
- 8 guajillo chiles - stems cut and seeds removed
- 3 Tbsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 6-8 cups water
- 1/4 cup beef broth - or chicken broth
For Taco Assembly
- 12-16 white corn tortillas
- 2 cups quesadilla cheese
- 1 cup white onion - diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
- In a large Dutch oven, add in the meat, onion, garlic bulb, carrots, bay leaves and dried peppers and cover the ingredients with water.
- Next, add in the chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- After 30 minutes, skim the top of the pot to remove any impurities from the bone cooking out. (This looks like bits of foam on the top).
- Next, remove the guajillo chilies from the pot and place in a blender with ¼-½ cup of broth and blend until smooth.
- If necessary, strain the blended chilies to remove the skin bits and then return the blended chilies mixture back into the pot and stir in to combine.
- Next, add in the chili powder.
- Cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender and will shred on its own. Be sure to stir every 30 minutes or so.
- After it has cooked, turn off the heat and remove the meat pieces from the pot to shred. Be sure to remove and throw away the bones in the process.
- After the meat is shredded, use a ladle and skim off any excess grease that rises to the surface of the cooking liquid, then use the ladle to remove the broth from the pot into a large bowl on the side, this is the sauce you will use for making your tacos.
- Time to assemble the tacos. To start grab a large cast iron skillet and heat on your stovetop over medium heat.
- Dip a corn tortilla into the reserved sauce and place into your skillet. Then on one side of the taco add your quesadilla cheese and shredded meat. Fold over the other half of the tortilla and cook each side until you get a nice crisp exterior. Repeat with the remainder of ingredients.
- Then, in a ramekin add in additional broth from the pot and top with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro for dipping your tacos. And enjoy!
I will try the Birrias Tacos 🌮 our next Tacos Tuesday Night for sure and already see Zucchini 👀 Boats on the horizon. Thank you so much!