Go Back
+ servings
Plate filled with birria tacos and a bowl of consommé.
Print Recipe
5 from 1331 votes

Best Beef Birria and Birria Tacos

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!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings: 8
Calories: 857kcal
Author: Serene


  • 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


  • 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. 


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