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Birria Tacos Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Maxine Dubois
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Welcome to a culinary adventure that's both bold and flavorful – Birria Tacos! If you've been yearning for a dish that marries tender, slow-cooked meat with a symphony of rich, smoky, and spicy flavors, then you've arrived at the right place. Our Birria Tacos recipe promises to transport your taste buds straight to the vibrant streets of Mexico, where this beloved dish originated.



For the Birria:

  • 3 pounds of beef (such as chuck roast or brisket)
  • 2-3 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2-3 dried ancho chilies
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups beef broth

For the Consomé (Broth):

  • Reserved chili soaking liquid
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Assembling the Tacos:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Diced onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Shredded cheese


Prepare the Chilies:

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried guajillo and ancho chilies.
  2. Toast the chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few seconds on each side until fragrant.
  3. Place the toasted chilies in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for about 20-30 minutes until softened.
  4. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Prepare the Birria Marinade:

  1. In a blender, combine the soaked chilies, chopped onion, minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and a little salt and pepper.
  2. Blend until you have a smooth paste. You can add some of the reserved chili soaking liquid if needed to help with blending.

Cook the Meat:

  1. Cut the beef into chunks and season it with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the meat on all sides until browned.
  4. Add the chili paste from the blender and stir well to coat the meat.
  5. Pour in the beef broth, add the bay leaf, and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and can be easily shredded.

Make the Consomé (Broth):

  1. In a separate pot, heat some oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until they become translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes break down and the flavors meld.
  5. Add the reserved chili soaking liquid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Shred the Meat:

  1. Once the meat is tender, remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks.


  1. Warm the corn tortillas.
  2. Dip the tortillas in the consomé broth, allowing them to soak up some of the rich flavors.
  3. Fill each tortilla with the shredded meat and top with chopped cilantro, diced onions and shredded cheese if you wish.
  4. Serve with lime wedges and extra consomé on the side for dipping.


  1. Choose the Right Meat: Select a cut of meat that's suitable for slow cooking and shredding, like chuck roast, brisket, or short ribs for beef birria. For lamb or goat birria, shoulder or leg cuts work well.

  2. Marinate for Flavor: Allow the meat to marinate in the chili paste for at least a few hours or, ideally, overnight in the refrigerator. This enhances the depth of flavor.

  3. Toast the Chilies Properly: When toasting dried chilies, be careful not to burn them, as this can make your sauce bitter. Toast them just until fragrant, and then soak them in hot water to soften.

  4. Blend Thoroughly: When making the chili paste, blend the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. You don't want any large pieces of chili or spice in the paste.

  5. Sear the Meat: Before simmering the meat in the sauce, sear it in a hot skillet or pot. This step adds an extra layer of flavor by caramelizing the meat's surface.

  6. Low and Slow: Simmer the meat over low heat for an extended period (2-3 hours or more) until it's tender and easily shreds. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together.

  7. Check the Liquid: Keep an eye on the liquid level while simmering. If it reduces too much, add more broth or water to prevent the meat from drying out.

  8. Taste and Adjust: Taste the birria sauce as it simmers and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, spices, or a touch of sweetness (like a pinch of sugar) to balance the flavors.

  9. Use Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the traditional choice for Birria Tacos. They add an authentic texture and flavor to the dish.

  10. Double Tortillas: To prevent your tacos from falling apart due to the sauce's juiciness, use double tortillas for each taco. This provides extra strength and stability.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 133.4
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 217.1 mg
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 22.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 63.8 mg