Easy Birria Tacos With Consomme in the Slow Cooker

6 servings
8 hr 55 min

This is the taco to end all tacos! Birria Tacos with Consomme are corn tortillas filled with delectable shredded beef that’s made so easy in the slow cooker (time saver!!). They are filled with cheese, then quickly melted in a pan.

This is the taco to end all tacos! It’s like a taco meets an enchilada meets a philly cheesesteak sandwich meets a french dip. This is my version of Birria Tacos with Consomme and if you like full flavor, ooey-gooey, cheesy deliciousness, then you need to try it! Slow cooked shredded beef and Oaxaca cheese are melted together in corn tortillas in a pan.

Then all of that goodness is dipped into the most unbelievable ancho chile sauce for one delicious bite after another. My version uses a slow cooker to cook the beef roast to melt-in-your-mouth perfection and blends the sauce right in a blender. It’s super easy to toss the ingredients together and let the slow cooker do all the work!

And if you like this, you will love my Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas (Enmoladas) with Rotisserie Chicken!


What are Birria Tacos with Consomme?

First, let me say that I have come to know and love this delicious dish through local restaurants in my hometown of Hoboken, NJ. I don’t have a personal history in my family with Birria. However, here is what I’ve learned through my research.


Let’s start with Birria, before we move on to the tacos. Birria is a traditional stew from Mexico that is flavored with chiles and a variety of spices and seasonings, along with goat or beef. The chiles used are typically guajillo or ancho. Ingredients include, but are not limited to, garlic, onion, cilantro, cumin, and thyme. I added cinnamon, smoked paprika, oregano, and tomato sauce.


Birria tacos are when you take the flavorful beef that’s cooked in the Birria stew and place it in a tortilla with cheese. It is also called Birria Quesatacos. The best cheese to get that authentic Mexican melty goodness is Oaxaca cheese. However, mozzarella works great as a melty substitute. In fact, Oaxaca is made using the same pulling and stretching process as mozzarella which makes the texture so similar.

The tortillas are dipped in the Birria sauce before being lightly cooked in a pan, which is how they get the red color.

This Birria Taco Recipe is Easier Than Others!

My goal with every recipe is to make dinner easy and delicious. So, for Birria, rather than cooking the beef stew in the oven or on the stove for hours, I have it cooking in the slow cooker where you can set it and forget it.

Birria tacos are often dipped into the Birria Consomme, which is the clarified liquid from the stew. For this version, I have everything blended up for a thicker, smooth and amazing dipping sauce. It ends up being more like a mole texture, so it coats each bite that you dip into it. Yum! If you like Mole, check out my Chicken Mole Enchiladas!

Equipment needed for these Birria Tacos

I made the beef and sauce in a slow cooker. However, you could also make it in the oven in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid.

Once the beef is cooked, you need a blender for blending the ingredients into a smooth and creamy sauce.

Next, to cook the tacos, you need a skillet/frying pan. I used my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.

Finally, this is optional, but I used a large sheet pan to please the cooked tacos on and keep warm in the oven.


Time Saving Prep-Ahead Steps for Birria Tacos

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)


You cook the beef and shred in advance up to 5 days or freeze it up to 5 months. However, if you’re just looking to get ahead on the prep before cooking the beef, then you can dice the onions, rough chop the garlic, remove/discard the stems from the dried chiles and shake out the seeds. Discard the seeds and cut the chiles into 2-3 pieces each (will get pureed once cooked, so this is just to fit into slow cooker).

Slow Cook the Beef

For this Birria Tacos Recipe recipe, I used a 3 pound boneless Beef Chuck Roast. This is a pretty economical cut of meat that comes from the shoulder and is great for slow or long cooking methods. It’s extremely flavorful and perfect for tender shredded beef recipes like these Birria Tacos. See the below FAQs for other options if you don’t have chuck.

Sear all sides of the beef first in a pan. This is an optional step. Preheat a frying pan or skillet on high heat. Season your chuck roast with salt and pepper to coat all sides. Add the beef to oil in a hot pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side to brown evenly.

Pour 1 cup of the beef stock or broth in the pan to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker and pour in the liquid from the pan.

To the slow cooker with the beef, add the onions, garlic, cilantro leaves, crushed tomatoes, chiles, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Pour in the rest of the beef stock until it reaches the top of the beef. Set the slow cooker to 8 or 10 hours, depending on your schedule.

When the cooking time is done, transfer the beef using tongs to a platter or cutting board. Shred the beef with forks and discard any string that may have been tied around the roast. Transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.

Make the Sauce

Make sure to first fish out the bay leaves and discard them. Then using a slotted spoon, scoop out all of the onions and ancho peppers and transfer to a blender.

Blend the onions and the peppers until smooth. If needed, add ½ cup of the cooking liquid to the blender to help smooth it out. Once smooth, pour it back into the liquid in the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Finally, pour ½ cup of this sauce over the beef and gently stir to mix through.


Cook the Birria Tacos

Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on the stove medium-high heat. Spray the pan with olive oil and then take 1 corn tortilla and dip it lightly into the sauce, then place it in the oiled hot pan. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the entire tortilla, then top half of the tortilla with the shredded beef.

Using a spatula, gently fold over the cheese-only side of the tortilla over the beef side. With the spatula, transfer the folded taco to a sheet pan and keep in the oven at 300 F degrees as you assemble and cook the rest of the tacos, each taco getting transferred to the oven as finished.

Serve each taco with a small bowl of the dipping sauce.

Time-Saving Tips for these Birria Tacos

Co all of the Prep-Ahead steps the weekend before! Also, if the cheese is not shredded, shred the cheese in advance and store it in the fridge.

Measure out all of the spices and seasonings.

You could also make the beef in the slow cooker over the weekend and shred it so it’s completely ready to go! Then on a busy weeknight, simply reheat the beef and assemble the tacos.


Birria Tacos Recipe FAQs

Are Ancho Chiles Spicy in the Birria Consomme?

The Ancho chiles are not spicy in this recipe. Dried ancho chiles are more smokey and peppery than spicy. By way of comparison, ancho chiles measure up to about half of the scoville units vs. jalapenos.


What can I substitute for Ancho Chiles in this Birria recipe?

For this recipe, you really want smokey and peppery, but not spicy. If you cannot find Ancho chiles, then look for dried Guajillo peppers. If you cannot find any of these dried peppers, you could use Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but go light, as they tend to be spicy. Then supplement with another ½ to 1 teaspoon of ground Smoked Paprika.


Is there a cheese other than Oaxaca cheese that could go in Birria Tacos?

The best cheese to use for Birria Tacos for authentic Mexican melty goodness is Oaxaca cheese. You can find Oaxaca in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. However, if you cannot find it mozzarella works great as a melty substitute. In fact, Oaxaca is made using the same pulling and stretching process as mozzarella which makes the texture so similar. Do not, however, substitute Cotija cheese as it is a hard cheese is great for sprinkling on top of tacos, but does not melt the way that Oaxaca or Mozzarella do. You could also use Jack cheese in a pinch!


Are there other cuts of beef I can use for the Birria Beef?

For cooking this Birria Beef in the slow cooker, a Chuck roast is best. If you cannot find Chuck Roast, sometimes labeled as blade roast, arm roast, or pot roast, you can use tri-tip, top round, bottom round, or rump roast.


Should I use Mexican Oregano or Regular?

If you can find Mexican oregano, that’s the way to go so that you get a more authentic flavor. However, I used a regular dried oregano and it turned out delicious.


What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

If you do not have a slow cooker, you can make this in a dutch oven in the oven, cooking the beef at 400 F degrees for 3 hours until the beef is fall apart tender. You could also use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker if you have one. Refer to the equipment instructions for a beef roast or short ribs.


What can I serve with this Birria Tacos Recipe?

These are pretty rich and indulgent, so I recommend to go with a lighter side dish. A simple side salad with tomatoes and corn and a Vinaigrette or Roasted Cumin Carrots with Avocado Crema or even a Cilantro Lime Quinoa would all be perfect. If you want more to bulk up the meal, you can also add Refried Black Beans!

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easy Birria Tacos With Consomme in the Slow Cooker
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 525 Minutes Total time: 8 hr 55 min
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 Yellow onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 Dried Ancho chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Smoked Paprika (or Ground Chipotle Pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme (ground or whole)
  • 1 tablespoons Dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves
  • 8 ounces Tomato sauce
  • 4-5 cups Beef stock or broth
  • 18 Corn Tortillas, 6 inch
  • 20 ounces Oaxaca cheese, shredded (mozzarella is a good substitute)
Instructions
Prep-Ahead Steps
Dice the onions, rough chop the garlic, remove/discard the stems from the dried chiles and shake out the seeds. Discard the seeds and cut the chiles into 2-3 pieces each (will get pureed once cooked, so this is just to fit into slow cooker).
Cook Beef
SEAR BEEF. Preheat a frying pan or skillet on high heat. Season your chuck roast with salt, and pepper to coat all sides. Drizzle the olive oil in the hot pan and add the beef and sear for 2 minutes on each side to brown evenly. On the final side, pour 1 cup of the beef stock in the pan to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker and pour in the liquid from the pan.
SLOW COOKER. To the slow cooker with the beef, add the onions, garlic, cilantro leaves, crushed tomatoes, chiles, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Then pour in the rest of the beef stock until it reaches the top of the beef. Set the slow cooker to Low 8 or 10 hours, depending on your schedule.
SHRED BEEF. When the cooking time is done, transfer the beef using tongs to a platter or cutting board. Shred the beef with forks and discard any string that may have been tied around the roast. Transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.
BLEND SAUCE. Fish out the bay leaves and discard. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out all of the onions and ancho peppers and transfer to a blender. (alternatively, you could strain the liquid into another bowl, add then add onions and peppers to the blender.) Blend the onions and the peppers until smooth. If needed, add ½ cup of the cooking liquid to the blender to help smooth it out. Once smooth, pour it back into the liquid in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Finally, pour ½ cup of this sauce over the beef and gently stir to mix through.
Make the Birria Tacos
Preheat the oven to 300 F degrees. Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on the stove medium-high heat. Spray the pan with olive oil and then take 1 corn tortilla and dip it lightly into the sauce, then place it in the oiled hot pan. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the entire tortilla, then top half of the tortilla with the shredded beef.
Using a spatula, gently fold over the cheese-only side of the tortilla over the beef side. With the spatula, transfer the folded taco to a sheet pan and keep in the oven as you assemble and cook the rest of the tacos, each taco getting transferred to the oven as finished.
Serve each taco with a small bowl of the dipping sauce.
Carrie Tyler
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