These birria tacos are crispy, cheesy, and incredibly flavorful! Made from corn tortillas dipped in a rich red chile broth consomé, stuffed with tender birria and cheese, then fried to crispy perfection, this popular dish takes tacos to another level.
Birria tacos aren’t your ordinary tacos.
Instead of tacos made from warm corn tortillas heated on the stove or in the microwave, birria tacos are dipped in the rich and fatty liquid that sits on top of cooked and braised birria, which gives the corn tortillas a distinct red color. The tortilla is then lightly fried in a skillet and topped with birria and lots of cheese to make the best tacos ever!
All of the birria meat’s flavors and juices are in every inch of this taco, and it makes every bite so delicious!
What is Birria?
Birria is a traditional Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco that’s made from slow-cooked beef in a rich and flavorful red chile broth, or consomé.
It’s usually served as a savory stew like in this authentic birria recipe. However, we are focused on a unique way of eating birria and its consomé, aka birria tacos!
Birria Taco Ingredients
- Dried chiles: You need guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, and arbol chiles. You can find them in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store or in a specialty Mexican grocer. If you can’t find them in your area, buying them online is always a great option! If you’ve never worked with dried chiles before, don’t worry. It’s easy, and I walk you through step by step how to use them in the recipe.
- Spices and bay leaves: I used a combination of garlic, cumin, ground clove, Mexican oregano, Mexican cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and 3 bay leaves. If you don’t have Mexican oregano, you can use regular oregano. If you can’t find Mexican cinnamon sticks (or Ceylon cinnamon sticks), you can use 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
- Beef: I recommend using chuck roast for the fat amount and how well it tenderizes, but you can also use rump roast.
- Corn tortillas: Corn tortillas that you can get just about at any grocery store are perfect!
- Shredded cheese: Any melting cheese is great. Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Monterey Jack, or Mozzarella are great options.
- Cilantro, diced white onions, and lime wedges: Must-have topping ingredients that pair perfectly with the rich and fatty birria!
Did You Know?
Beef is commonly used to make birria, but traditionally it’s actually made with goat’s meat. Beef is the most popular meat to use now since most people have access to it. Both types of meat work, but this recipe uses beef.
How to Make Birria Tacos
Meat and sauce: Season and sear the meat on both sides. Then soak the chiles, blend them until smooth, and strain the sauce into a pot with the seared meat. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 3-3 ½ hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. Take the meat out and shred it with two forks.
Tortillas: Lightly dip both sides of a corn tortilla in the red chile broth (consomé). Then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and begin frying.
Tacos: Top half of the tortilla with a generous amount of shredded cheese, shredded birria meat, diced onions, and cilantro. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to create a taco, and cook for 1 minute on each side until the cheese has fully melted.
Prepare: Serve the tacos on a plate with lime wedges and the consomé as a dipping sauce.
- Dutch oven. This is one of my most-used kitchen tools and is oven safe!
- Slotted spoon. Use this one often when transferring rehydrated chiles to a blender for all my Mexican sauces.
- Blender. A powerful blender is necessary when blending chiles to make Mexican sauces.
- Strainer: If you don’t have a super powerful blender, a strainer comes in handy to ensure your chile sauce and consomé are smooth.
Storing and Reheating
Birria can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, let the birria thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, then heat in the microwave or in a pot over medium-high heat 5 minutes until heated.