Beef Birria. Rich and flavorful this beef birria is perfect served as a stew topped with onion, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. OR chop up the meat and fry up some Quesabirria tacos! These are the most famous TACOS!
These birria tacos are famous. They are possibly the most famous tacos you will find on social media. The image of these tacos with the fried and crispy meat and cheese sticking out the top, being dunked into a deep red consommé fill my feed.
This recipe may look long, but it’s because I want to give you as much information as possible to create this flavorful meal on your own at home. This deep rich broth and meat is great served as a stew. But if you want to go the extra few steps and fry up some tacos you will NOT be disappointed.
Ingredients Needed for Homemade Birria:
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.
- 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.
Strain the peppers if needed to remove bits of skin (if using a high powered blender this step is not necessary).
- 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.
Birria de Res:
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.
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.
- 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!
More Taco Recipes to Enjoy:
- If you need a quick and easy taco option, this Easy Ground Beef Taco Recipe has a 5 star rating!
- This Authentic Barbacoa recipe is made in the slow cooker and only needs a handful of ingredients.
- If it’s nice outside get the grill going and make some Carne Asada.
- These Shrimp Tacos are easy and made on the stovetop!
Best Beef Birria and Birria Tacos
- 7-8 cups hot water
- 4 lbs chuck roast, cut into 4 large chunks
- 2 lbs short ribs (bone in), or back ribs bone in
- 1 large white onion, dry skins removed, cut in half crosswise
- 1 garlic bulb, cut the narrow top off, no need to peel
- 1 carrot, cut in half crosswise, then cut in half (4 large pieces of carrot)
- 5 bay leaves, dried
- 8 guajillo chiles, stems cut off and seeds removed
- 3 tbsp chicken boullion
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp mexican oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt, (adjust to taste)
- 14-16 white corn tortillas
- 2 cups quesadilla cheese, or any good melting cheese
- Combine Ingredients: In large pot add meat, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves and dried peppers. Cover with water. (This uses my large 7 qt pot and fills it to the top!)
- Add Seasonings: Add chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin and salt, stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- Skim: After 30 minutes, skim the top of the pot to remove impurities from the bone cooking out. (will look like little bits of foam on the top)
- Blend Peppers: Remove the peppers (should be softened) and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, add up to 1/4 cup of broth if needed to help get a smooth consistency.
- Strain: Strain the peppers if needed to remove bits of skin (if using a high powered blender this step is not necessary).
- Combine: Add the blended peppers into the broth and stir to combine.
- Season: Add in the chili powder as desired to get a nice deep red color to the broth.
- Simmer: Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 hours or until meat is tender and easily shredding on it’s own. (remove lid and give a stir every 40 minutes or so. Can also taste the broth once the meat is cooked through and adjust seasonings as needed).
- Reserve Grease: Skim the grease from the top of the broth (SAVE THIS!) pour the grease into a small skillet or saucepan, this is used for making the tacos if desired.
- Remove the onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaves from the broth. (these ingredients were in the broth for flavoring…people are more than welcome to eat and enjoy them, so save them if you want!)
- Serving: Remove the meat from the broth and cut into large chunks for serving. Remove any bones.
To Serve as a Stew:
- Serve a couple pieces of meat into a bowl, spoon broth on top.
- Top with diced onion and fresh cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze in.
To Make Quesabirria Tacos:
- Chop Meat: Remove the meat from the broth, and finely chop until only small pieces remain.
- Heat a large skillet/griddle over medium heat.
- Frying Tortillas: Dip the corn tortilla into the reserved grease from the broth.
- Place on heated griddle, top with the chopped meat and cheese.
- Fold the taco over and press down with a spatula. Continue cooking until the taco is crisp and golden on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Then flip and continue cooking the other side. (it’s ok if some of the cheese leaks out while frying, the golden cheese is the best part!) Plus you can spoon some additional grease onto the tortilla while it cooks if you need more coloring to the tortilla.
- Cook until both sides are crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly before serving, will be very hot.
- Continue until all tacos are cooked.
- Top tacos with fresh cilantro and onion if desired.
- Serving: Serve with a bowl of the broth topped with onions and cilantro on the side.
- Dip the tacos into the broth while eating.
- Meat: bones are needed in this recipe to help create a rich and flavorful broth. You can use any cut of beef for this recipe needed, just ensure that you have some bones to add to the broth.
- Guajillo Peppers: (2,500-5,000 SHU) these are a mild pepper. You can adjust and use other chiles as desired. My preference is to start with the guajillo and I add Chili powder as needed as the broth simmers.
- Skimming the broth: boiling the bones releases impurities, after the first 30 minutes of boiling you can skim off the foam that appears on the top of the soup.
- Taste Adjustments: once the meat is cooked all the way through, towards the end, you can taste and adjust the broth as needed.
- Cheese: any good melting cheese will work in the tacos. Quesadilla cheese can be found in the market by the Mexican Cheeses. Other options would be to use Monterey Jack, Mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese.
Photography done by KJandCompany.co