Beef Birria Tacos

8 servings
4 hr 15 min

Are you looking for the perfect way to have your family flocking to the dinner table? These Beef Birria Tacos are guaranteed to have your family asking when dinner is ready and going back for seconds.

Birra Tacos seemed to be everywhere in 2021. I love that everyone made them a little different, shared their own special touches, and made them their own. This quickly became a family favorite and is sure to become yours too.


The Magic is in the Sauce

There’s something magic about meat simmering away low and slow with warm spices and earthy peppers. These Beef Birria Tacos not only will become a repeat recipe request, but they’ll also become a feast for all of your senses.


My daughter was the one who requested the famous birria tacos. And not just requested, she begged for months. By the time I dipped tortillas into the rich consommé to build the tacos, the entire family was drooling.


Birria is a traditional Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco. While beef is commonly used now, such as in this recipe, goat is the traditional protein. Cooked in clay pots and simmered with dried chiles, aromatics, and herbs, the slow and low cooking breaks down the tough meat creating tender, unctuous shreds.

For this recipe I am using a beef chuck roast. This family and budget friendly cut of meat begs for that long simmering cook in a Dutch oven. Dried chiles perfume and infuse the broth along with a smoky chipotle. Crushed tomatoes and tomato paste add both a little sweetness in addition to an acidic pop. Warm cinnamon and cloves add depth as the spice every bite.


Just as the meat simmers and breaks down, so does the broth. It gets added to a blender and pureed until smooth and velvety. This becomes both the sauce for the meat as well as the companion to the tacos. There’s something about going in for that first taco dip and watching the vibrant, rich consommé coat the tortillas.


Breaking Down Beef Birria Tacos

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients for these tacos. There might be a few steps, but these tacos are as easy as they are delicious. I will take you through the process so your family will be drooling in anticipation as you create the magic of birria.

  • Cut your chuck roast into fairly equal size portions and season with salt and pepper. Heat your Dutch oven on medium heat and make sure it’s fully heated before adding your meat. If you have to work in batches, that’s okay. You don’t want to over crowd the pot as you brown the meat. You’re looking to develop that beautiful dark crust on all sides.


  • Add your aromatics to the pan along with your tomato paste. Allow it to cook for several minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color to more of a rust. Add your remaining ingredients including the browned chuck roast. Make sure to add any drippings that have accumulated on the plate.


  • Allow the meat to simmer in the broth for an hour. This will help soften the dried chiles. Remove the chiles from the pot along with some of the broth and onions. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth and silky. Add the sauce back to the pot and allow the meat to simmer for three more hours, or until it is fall apart tender.


  • To build your tacos, heat a skillet over medium heat. Dip a tortilla in some of the sauce to coat both sides. Add shredded cheese to one side of the tortilla along with the shredded birria beef. Fold the taco in half and allow both sides to brown and the cheese to melt.


  • Serve the tacos with reserved broth to dip in. Be warned, your family will be asking for these weekly!


Are you looking for more dinner inspiration? Make sure you check out my recipe for Southwest Chili.

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 4 Hours Total time: 4 hr 15 min
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Ingredients
Beef Birria
  • 8 lbs Chuck roast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 dried Hatch chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • a few whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 bay leaves
Tacos
  • tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • limes
  • fresh cilantro
  • chopped onions
Instructions
Beef Birria
Cut chuck roast into large pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with olive oil. Add the pieces of Chuck roast, careful not to crowd. Brown all sides. You may need to work in batches. Remove from the pot.
Add the garlic, onion, and tomato paste. Cook for several minutes, allowing the tomato paste to deepen in color.
Add the remaining ingredients, including the browned chuck. Make sure to add any drippings that have accumulated on the plate.
Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the softened chiles, the onions, and some of the broth and add to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and silky. Pour back into the pot.
Allow to simmer for 3 more hours or until the beef is fall apart tender.
Shred the meat and add back to the sauce.
Tacos
To build your Beef Birria Tacos heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Dip a tortilla into the sauce. Add shredded cheese to half of the tortilla along with some of the shredded beef.
Fold the tortilla over and brown both sides.
To serve, top with chopped onions, cilantro, and serve with wedges of lime and cups of the reserved consommé for dipping. Enjoy!
@uncomplicatedchef
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