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birra tacos with consomme
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4.67 from 24 votes

Birria Tacos

Crispy, meaty, and optionally cheesy, this Birria Tacos recipe will save you the long waits at the shop, and freezes beautifully to have again later. ( if you add cheese, it's a quesabirria taco and I HIGHLY recommend it)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: birria tacos, quesabirria, tacos de birria
Servings: 6 people


For the Birria:

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 dried Guajillo or Pasilla Peppers
  • 3 lbs bone-in beef shanks short rib, or oxtail
  • 2 lbs stew meat cut into 2" cubes ( beef top or bottom sirloin, beef chuck, goat shoulder, see Notes)
  • 12 ounces Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 cup Crushed Tomatoes
  • 7 cloves Garlic minced
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sticks of Cinnamon
  • 10 Cloves
  • 8 cups Chicken or Beef Broth low sodium or sodium free

For the tacos:

  • 18 4" tortillas
  • 1 lb shredded cheese quesadilla, pepper jack, or other white cheese
  • fresh cilantro optional, for serving
  • chopped white onion optional, for serving
  • lime wedges optional, for serving


To Make the Birria (Meat Filling) on the Stove Top:

  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, and add the dried peppers to it. Let them soak for about 15 minutes, or until completely softened. After they have softened, cut off the stem/top of each pepper, shake out and discard the seeds and stem.
  • Add the olive oil to a very large pot set over medium low heat. Once the oil has heated through, add the chopped onions. Sautee the onions for 8 - 12 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  • While the onions are cooking, add the softened peppers, chipotle peppers in adobo, vinegar, cumin, oregano, paprika, cider vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and 4 cups of broth to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • To the pot with the onions, add the beef, puree from the blender, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and remaining 4 cups of broth.
    Pro Tip: After you pour out the puree from the blender, use the remaining broth to rinse any of the puree still lingering on the walls or blade of the blender before pouring it into the pot.
    The meat should be completely covered by the liquid in the pot. If it is not, fill the pot with water until it is just barely covered.
  • Turn the heat up under the pot, and bring it to a simmer. Simmer covered for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender.
  • Once the meat is cooked, remove the bay leaf and cloves, and remove the meat from the pot.
    Shred the meat, and return it back to the pot to simmer until you are ready to make your tacos ( up to 1 hour.)
    Simmering is NOT required. Feel free to add the meat back to the pot and then start making tacos immediately.

To Make the Tacos:

  • Preheat a skillet over medium heat. You do not need to add any oil or grease to the pan.
  • For each tortilla:
    Dip the tortilla in the sauce the meat was cooked in. Place the tortilla on the hot pan.
    Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of shredded cheese over the entire top of the tortilla (feel free to double the cheese if you want more of quesabirria or birria quesadilla style).
    Place a heaping tablespoon of meat on one half of the tortilla.
  • Cook until the cheese melts and the tortilla is just starting to crisp - about 2 minutes.
    Fold the un-meated side of the tortilla over the meat side, and flip the taco.
    Cook for another 2 minutes or until both sides are crispy.
  • Serve the tacos with a bowl of the cooking liquid on the side topped with fresh cilantro and diced onion, and limes.


Note about goat meat:
The shoulder is a great cut for this. My local shop also sells what they call "Goat cubes" which is an assortment of cut up goat meat - it also works wonderfully for this recipe.