Beef Birria Tacos

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If you love tacos as much as we do, you must give these tacos a try. Incredible hardly describes them.

There is just something special about these tacos. We love all kinds of tacos and these are right at the top of the list of favorites. The slowly braised beef l melts in your mouth and the consommé dipping sauce puts it all over the top. Serve with Mexican black beans and Mexican rice for an unforgettable Mexican feast!

An overhead view of a row of beef birria tacos that are on laying on their sides next to a white dipping bowl filled with beef consommé and surrounded by lime wedges and Mexican bottled beer.

How To Make Beef Birria Tacos


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The Ingredients You Will Need

If your local market doesn’t carry dried chilies, you may need to make a quick run to your nearest Hispanic market, or you can order them online. All other ingredients should be easy for you to grab. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

Dried chilesAncho, guajillo, and arbol.
Chuck roast – Trimmed of excess fat, but, be sure to leave some for the braising. You’ll get rid of the fat before serving.
Short ribs – You only need 3 of them. You can only go with the chuck roast, but, the short ribs add a luxurious depth of flavor.
Seasonings – Salt and pepper
Oil – Olive oil or vegetable oil.
Tomatoes – Romas work perfectly. Halved.
Onion – One large yellow or white onion is all you need. Peeled and quartered.
Garlic – No need to mince or chop them, just peel the skin off.
Dried herbs – Mexican oregano (or regular), bay leaves, cumin, cloves (preferably ground)
Cinnamon – A whole stick is perfect, but ground will work, too.
Vinegar – Distilled white, or white wine vinegar are both perfect.
Tortillas – Corn is a must.
Cheese – Any kind of melty Mexican cheese. Oaxaca, Quesadilla cheese, Chihuahua, or Monterey Jack – Shredded.
Cilantro – Chopped, for garnish.
Onion – Chopped, for garnish.
Hot sauce – The acid from the hot sauce is the perfect match for the rich birria.

EXPERT TIP: Be sure to strain the puréed pepper sauce before adding the seared beef. You don’t need to use an extra-fine sieve, you just want to get the skins from the peppers to be removed from the liquid. Most fine colanders will work just fine.

A person pouring an ancho pepper sauce into a large oval Dutch oven that is filled with chunks of seared beef chuck roast and short ribs.

Tips for Making the Best Beef Birria Tacos

Use Marbled Beef – For the best birria, use cuts of beef such as chuck or brisket that are well-marbled and flavorful. Slow-cooking the beef with a combination of aromatic spices, dried chilies, and broth will create tender, flavorful meat.

Don’t Skimp on the Broth – The key to delicious birria is the rich, flavorful broth used to cook the beef. Simmering dried chilies, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices in beef or chicken broth will create a deeply savory and aromatic base for the meat.

Mexican Melting Cheese is Best – To take your tacos to the next level by adding Mexican melting cheese such as Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese. This cheese melts beautifully and adds a creamy, gooey texture that complements the rich flavors of the beef and broth.

Serve with Traditional Accompaniments – Serve your tacos with traditional accompaniments such as finely chopped onions, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and a side of the flavorful consommé for dipping. This will enhance the flavors and provide a well-rounded dining experience for your guests.

An overhead view of a large oval Dutch oven filled with birria beef stew with a deep brown sauce surrounding the slow-cooked beef.

How To Serve

This recipe makes a sizable amount of birria (braised beef). Use as much as you want for the number of tacos you want to prepare and refrigerate the rest.

As you prepare the tacos, keep them warm on a baking rack in a baking pan in a warm oven (250°F) until ready to serve.

Once you are done preparing the tacos, we recommend discarding (safely) the rendered fat that has formed with the consommé. You can simply skim it from the top with a large spoon, or carefully use a fat separator to get rid of it.

We like to have a separate small ramekin of the consommé for each guest. This way no one has to worry about double-dipping.

EXPERT TIP: When frying up the tacos, be very careful not to stab or tear the corn tortillas. Gently use a pair of fork to fold the open side of the tortilla onto the other side. A spatula helps to flip the taco in the skillet. The texture of the tortilla will be somewhat soft, and not like a crispy taco shell.

Four images with the first birria beef being shredded and the a corn tortilla being dipped in consommé, and then beef being placed on a corn tortilla in skillet and then the taco frying in the skillet.

How To Use Leftover Birria

You will most likely have leftover beef birria when you make the tacos, and trust us, this is a good thing. Here are some recipes that you can use to substitute the birria for the main protein. Simply incredible:


It is also amazing in a Mexican-style omelet. Have plenty of homemade salsa and guacamole on hand for an unforgettable feast.

In the meantime, why not just make another batch of birria tacos with your leftover beef? Yum!

A straight-on view of a row of beef birria tacos that are in a row each one resting on top of the taco next to it and they are garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.

Other Amazing Taco Recipes to Try

Tacos are one of the greatest culinary creations ever made by mankind. And here is a collection of our favorites that we are certain you and your family and friends will love, too!

Classic Tex-Mex Crispy Beef Tacos
Chicken Tinga Tacos
Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
Beef Taco Quesadilla
Baja Fish Tacos
Mahi Mahi Tacos
Shrimp Tacos Dorados

These are all amazing in their own special way, but, in the meantime, are these babies calling your name?

A straight on view of a person using a metal spoon to drizzle consommé over a row of beef birria tacos that are arranged side by side on a board.

The birria meat has a Mexican flavor profile that is savory with a touch of sweetness from the cinnamon and allspice. It is partly what makes these tacos so amazing.

Lightly frying the corn tortillas that have been dipped in the sauce adds another layer of flavor and texture that makes them so unique and incredibly delicious.

And finally, the consommé dipping sauce is spectacular. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand. You will be amazed at how fast these tacos get devoured!

A close-up view of a beef birria taco that is being dipped into a small bowl of beef consommé.

Ready to make the best taco this side of Jalisco, Mexico? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A straight-on view of a row of beef birria tacos that are in a row each one resting on top of the taco next to it and they are garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.

Beef Birria Tacos

Beef Birria Tacos are Mexican food at its very best. The slow-braised beef in a chili and beef sauce is melt-in-your-mouth amazing and the lightly fried corn tortilla shell with cheese is unforgettable. The beef consommé puts it all over the top.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: how to make birria tacos, authentic beef birria, best taco recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 623kcal


  • 1 Large pot with lid 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven works well
  • Blender or food processor
  • skillet for frying
  • Fat separator or just a spoon for skimming


  • 6 ancho chiles stems and seeds removed
  • 6 guajillo chiles stems and seeds removed
  • 2 chile de arbol tips clipped off and most of the seeds removed
  • 3 roma tomatoes halved
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 3 lb chuck roast cut into large pieces (about 4-inch chunks)
  • 3 beef short ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried cumin ground
  • 1 tsp oregano preferably Mexican
  • ½ tsp allspice ground, or ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves fresh or dried
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns whole
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups beef broth plus more for braising
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Mexican melting cheese oaxaca, quesadilla, or Monterey Jack
  • ¼ cup cilantro fresh, chopped, for garnish
  • ½ cup white onion chopped, for garnish
  • hot sauce for garnish


  • In a medium pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Place the ancho, guajillo, and arbol chiles (seeded) in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot water over the peppers and let them soak for at least 20 minutes.
    6 ancho chiles, 6 guajillo chiles, 2 chile de arbol
  • Turn your broiler on HIGH and place the top rack in your oven about 6 inches from the heating element.
  • Place the halved tomatoes and quartered onion on a baking sheet that is lined with foil. Place under the broiler (6 inches) for about 4 to 5 minutes. Open the oven and add the garlic cloves and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they should become soft and lightly charred. Don't let them burn (broilers vary, so do keep an eye on it). Remove from oven and set aside.
    3 roma tomatoes, 1 large onion, 4 cloves garlic
  • Sprinkle the roast pieces and short ribs with salt and pepper.
    3 lb chuck roast, 3 beef short ribs, Salt and pepper
  • Heat the olive oil In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot (with a lid) over medium heat. Working in batches, sear the beef until browned all over. Repeat with remaining beef and then add it all back into the pot.
    2 tbsp olive oil
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the softened chiles into the blender (save the soaking liquid). Next, add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Add 1 tsp salt, the cumin, oregano, allspice, bay leaves, peppercorns, white vinegar, 1 cup of the chili soaking liquid, and 2 cups of beef broth (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Pureé until smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes).
    1 tsp dried cumin, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp allspice, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar, 2 cups beef broth
  • Strain the pepper sauce through a fine-mesh colander, discarding any solids.
  • Pour the strained sauce over the meat and add more beef broth if necessary. The beef should be almost completely covered.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to LOW and simmer until the meat is shreddable, usually 2 to 2½ hours. Check periodically and add more liquid (broth or water) if necessary. Be sure the meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Remove the beef from the sauce/consommé and place on a cutting board. Discard bones and excess fat. Use two forks to shred the meat. Sprinkle salt over the top of the shredded meat (about 1 tsp).
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Working one at a time, dip a tortilla into the consommé/sauce and fully coat it. Add to the hot skillet and twist it around a bit so it won't stick. Working quickly, add about 1 tbsp cheese on one side of the tortilla and then top with a handful of the beef. Top with more cheese and then very carefully bring the open side of the tortilla over the meat and cheese. Cook on one side for about 1 minute, then flip and cook on the other side for another minute. The taco will be dark in color, and somewhat soft. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low-temperature oven (250°F) and continue with the remaining tortillas.
    8 corn tortillas, 2 cups Mexican melting cheese
  • If desired, skim the fat from the top of the consommé, or pour the sauce into a fat separator. Divide the consommé into individual ramekins or dipping bowls.
  • Serve the warm tacos with consommé on the side and garnished with chopped cilantro, onion, and hot sauce on the side.
    ¼ cup cilantro, ½ cup white onion, hot sauce


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
If desired, you can go with only a chuck roast (and skip the ribs). If so, get about a 3 to 4-lb roast. 
As the birria is simmering, check on it from time to time. The beef doesn't need to be completely submerged the entire time, but it should be at least 1/2 covered. Add more broth if necessary and you may need to push the meat around to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
Be careful when lifting one side of the tortilla in the skillet over the top. Corn tortillas are fragile and can tear easily. However, if it does tear, just be careful when flipping it, it will still be delicious. 
Leftover birria will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days. Reheat in the oven at 325°F until warm and slightly simmering. 


Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 805mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 15885IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 12mg
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  • 5 stars
    This looks AMAZING!! Have you ever tried to cook the beef in a slow cooker and if so, how long? I can’t WAIT to make this!

    • Hi Anne, we’ve not done these in the slow-cooker, but, no doubt, it would work amazingly well. We recommend cooking the roast on LOW for 10 hours for very delicious shreddable meat! Let us know if you try it and how it turns out! They are sooooo good! Best, Kris & Wesley

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