This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Rich and flavorful these beef Birria Tacos are perfect served with onion, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice with a bowl of consommé on the side for dipping! These Quesabirria tacos are famous!

Plate filled with birria tacos and a bowl of consommé.


 

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 bone 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 & Substitutions

Ingredients laid out that are needed to make homemade birria and quesatacos at home.
  • Short Ribs (Bone-in)-This can be substituted for any cut with bones such as oxtails 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.
  • Chuck Roast: Any large roast will work, chuck roast is a budget friendly cut that provides a lot of meat. Since we’re cooking the meat low and slow the roast has time to break down and become tender. You can substitute with goat or lamb meat if desired. 
  • 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. These are dried chile peppers that can be found in the spice or Mexican aisles at most markets.
  • 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.

Find the complete recipe card below with measurements and full instructions.

How to Make Birria

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 meat, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves and dried peppers to the pot then add enough water to cover all the ingredients. Add chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin and salt, stir to combine. Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Large Dutch oven filled with ingredients to make birria de res, Mexican beef stew.

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 along with the carrots, onion and garlic 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). Add in the chili powder as desired for flavor and to get a nice deep red color to the broth.

Blending pepper sauce for making birria.

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.

Beef birria in a dutch oven.

How to Make Quesabirria Tacos

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 or shred.

Shredded birria meat.

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.

Skillet frying corn tortillas in red grease topped with cheese and birria meat.

Serving

Serve birria tacos with consommé, the delicious bone broth. Spoon some of the broth into a small bowl, top this with cilantro and onion, and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to 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!

Birria taco balancing on a bowl of consommé.

Storage

  • Storing: Store leftover birria and consommé in sealed containers in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It’s best to store the meat and broth, then prepare the tacos when ready to serve. If you have leftover birria tacos those can be stored for 1-2 days. Reheat leftover tacos in a skillet until the tortilla crisps back up.
  • Freezing: Allow the birria to cool completely then transfer to a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating: Birria and consommé can be reheated on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the birria as directed. Shred the meat and store in the refrigerator. As the broth cools the fat will form a solid layer on the top of the broth which makes it easier to separate. Spoon the fat off the top before reheating on the stovetop. Then prepare the tacos when ready to serve. 

Instant Pot & Slow Cooker

If using a slow cooker or instant pot method for this recipe you will need to prepare the chile sauce separately and add it in for cooking. To make the sauce add the chiles, onion, garlic, and carrots to a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer until they have all softened. Then blend using a small amount of water as needed to create a smooth consistency. Strain the sauce as needed.

  • Instant Pot Instructions: Sear the beef in the instant pot using the sauté setting. Then add the chile sauce, spices and cover with enough water for cooking. Cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure. Continue with instructions on preparing the birria tacos.
  • Slow Cooker Instructions: If desired, sear the beef in a skillet on the stovetop and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the chile sauce, add the spices and seasonings then cover with enough water for cooking. Cook on low for 8 hours. Then continue with the instructions on preparing the birria tacos.
Quesabirria taco being dipped into consommé.

If you make and love our recipes, it would help us if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on InstagramPinterestFacebook, and YouTube.

Birria Tacos (Quesabirria Tacos)

4.99 from 2601 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Serene
Rich and flavorful these beef Birria Tacos are perfect served with onion, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice with a bowl of consommé on the side for dipping! These Quesabirria tacos are famous!
Plate filled with birria tacos and a bowl of consommé.

Ingredients  

  • 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)

Quesabirria Tacos

  • 14-16 white corn tortillas
  • 2 cups quesadilla cheese or any good melting cheese

Garnishes

  • fresh cilantro diced
  • fresh lime juice
  • white onion diced

Instructions 

  • 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), onion, garlic (squeeze the cloves out of the bulb) and carrots 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. 
  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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. 
 
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 857kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 77g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 269mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 1232mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2305IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 511mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Photography done by KJandCompany.co

Recipe first published January 8, 2021. Updated February 12, 2024.


Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

You may also like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




423 Comments

  1. This is such a big hit in my home. It’s also one of those recipes where if you are using it as a stew it tastes better the next day. Can’t wait to make again!

  2. Followed to a T! It was perfection! My twin boys are picky! Hubby is as well!!! Took me 4 hrs to prepare! And was devoured in less than 20 mins😂!!!! 

    And since it’s cold making another batch for stew!

  3. I’m making this for the 2nd time tomorrow. They were absolutely one of the best recipes I have ever made. Thank you for all of the extra tips. Delicious!!

  4. Can a crockpot be used instead of a Dutch oven and doing it on the stove?

    Recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to try!

  5. This is an incredible meal! I made some tweaks as most people do depending on what is readily available and on- hand, as well as to spice to taste. That noted, fact is that this recipe is simply superb. I had the stew with a heated flour tortilla for scooping – excellence in a bowl! The boys had the tacos and said the barria tacos were better than the Mexican place we love! Now that’s a true compliment since the small restaurant is an authentic, family owned, from scratch kitchen. Thank you for this!