Birria Recipe – The Cookie Rookie®

Becky Hardin

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This homemade beef Birria recipe is mouthwateringly delicious! Beef chuck is slow-cooked along with chiles, lots of spices, and tomatoes until it becomes unbelievably tender, then shredded and served with the flavor-packed consome. Use this birria meat for tacos, burritos, and tons of Mexican-inspired dishes.

birria meat in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

What’s in this Birria Recipe?

Slow-cooked beef seasoned with warm, spicy chiles and served with a divine dipping sauce–what more could you want?

  • Chiles: Stemmed and seeded dried Guajillo chile, dried Ancho chiles, and dried chiles de Arbol give this birria meat its characteristic deep red color and rich, complex flavor.
  • Vegetable Oil: Helps the vegetables and beef cook without burning.
  • White Onion: Adds an earthy and slightly sweet flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Help form the base of the braising liquid, and add acidity and rich tomato flavor.
  • Garlic: Adds an earthy flavor and a pungent aroma.
  • Spices: Mexican oregano, kosher salt, ground cumin, ground black pepper, and ground cinnamon are classic Mexican seasonings.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds acidity to the braising liquid.
  • Beef Chuck: Gets tender the longer it cooks. If you have it available, you can also use oxtail or short ribs in place of half of the chuck.
  • Beef Stock: Forms the base of the braising liquid.

Pro Tip: Save the braising liquid to use as a dipping sauce (aka the best birria consome)!

Variations on Beef Birria

Believe it or not, you can make birria with just about any meat. For chicken birria, swap the beef for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. For pork birria, use pork shoulder. For vegetarian birria, try using jackfruit and vegetable broth.

beef birria in a white bowl with limes and tortillas.
What is birria?

Birria is traditionally a deliciously rich beef stew that mixes sweet, savory, and slightly spicy flavors.

What part of the animal is birria?

Birria is traditionally made with goat, but we’re opting to use beef chuck for a more accessible option. Beef chuck comes from the shoulder area.

Where can I find dried peppers?

Typically they are found in the spice or condiment aisles.

Is there a difference between oregano and Mexican oregano?

Yes, they are actually completely different plants. Oregano is slightly sweet and peppery, while Mexican oregano has a more citrus and licorice flavor. If you can’t find Mexican oregano, I prefer to use marjoram in its place.

What is a birria taco vs regular taco?

Birria tacos are unique in that they are dipped in a delicious beef consommé and fried to get a perfectly juicy bite.

birria meat in a white bowl with limes and tortillas.

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover shredded birria meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keep separate from the braising liquid until ready to assemble. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot set over medium-low heat until warmed through.

How to Freeze

Freeze birria beef separately from the liquid in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

This juicy beef makes perfect birria tacos or quesabirria tacos. You could also turn it into burritos or burrito bowls. For a simpler meal, serve this shredded beef over cilantro lime rice with a side of Mexican Corn on the Cob, esquites, or Tomatillo Avocado Salsa.

a hand dipping a birria taco into a bowl of dipping sauce.

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