The Best Birria Tacos (Quesabirria)
Birria tacos are all the rage right now, and for good reason! The meat in these fried tacos is tender and savory, while the tortilla is covered in flavorful marinade. My favorite part?! All of the fresh cheese and cilantro on top! After just one bite of these juicy, delicious beef tacos, you’ll be obsessed
Food trends come and go, but birria tacos aren’t leaving my kitchen any time soon. I love making these for taco Tuesdays… and Wednesdays, Thursdays, etc.! Although they’re just a weeknight dinner in my house right now, I can’t wait to make a huge batch of these tacos for a party one day.
Why? Because truly, these birria tacos are the ultimate crowd pleaser. They’re a little bit messy, a whole lot of delicious, and super fun to enjoy! This is a dinner that kids love, because they can really dig in and not worry about their table manners.
What is Birria
If you’ve never had a birria taco before, you’re in for such a treat. Birria is actually a Mexican stew from the state of Jalisco. Traditionally made with goat meat, it’s simmered in a pepper based adobo, garlic, cumin bay leaves and other seasonings.
You can enjoy it as a stew or turn it into Birria Tacos which are wildly popular right now due to a number of taco trucks serving them across the country.
You eat these perfectly tender fried tacos by dipping them in a homemade stew broth that is SO jam packed with mouthwatering flavor, you’ll want to drink it with a straw.
The process may look long but I promise you will not be disappointed and you can break it up by making the stew ahead of time.
Next time you’re in the mood for tacos, skip the usual ground beef and flour tortillas. Instead, try this insanely irresistible recipe for birria tacos
How to Make Birria Stew
There are two important steps to making these impossibly good tacos – first, you have to make the stew (Birria de Res), then you can make the actual tacos.
It may seem a bit laborious, but I PROMISE these tacos are worth both the hype they receive and the effort you’ll put into them! My husband said they are “other level” tacos.
You can even enjoy the stew as it is with some crusty bread for dipping but go the extra step and make the tacos when you have a spare few more minutes.
- Season. Using just salt and pepper, season the chuck roast and short ribs, then set them aside.
- Soak. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Soak the guajillo and ancho chilis for about 10 minutes before removing the peppers from the water. Once removed, cut off the stem and remove the seeds.
- Blend. Toss the peppers into a blender, and blend them with one chipotle pepper, all of the adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Blend the mixture together until it’s nice and smooth!
- Marinate the meat. Place the seasoned meat in a large container before soaking it in the marinade. Let the meat marinate overnight for best results.
- Braise the meat. Cook the onions in a large dutch oven over medium heat until they’re soft. Transfer the meat and marinade to the pot, then stir in the cinnamon sticks, cloves and beef stock. Cover, and transfer to a preheated oven. Braise the beef for 3 hours.
- Remove and shred. Remove the birria stew from the oven and skim off some of the fat. Don’t throw the fat away, though! You’ll need it to cook the tacos. Remove the stew meat and shred it with two forks. Return the shredded beef to the pot and stir to combine.
How to Make Beef Birria Tacos
- Heat the tortillas. Heat up the reserved fat in a skillet. Then, dip the tortillas in the stew before tossing them onto the heated skillet.
- Fry. Top the hot tortilla with Oaxaca cheese. When the cheese melts, add shredded beef and fold one side of the tortilla over the other. Fry it until it’s crispy! Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
If you can’t find Oaxaca cheese which is like a Mexican mozzarella, you can substitute with Colby Jack or regular mozzarella.
How to Serve Birria Tacos
For garnishes, top the tacos with chopped onions, queso fresco, and cilantro. Of course, a freshly cut lime is always great to squeeze over the tacos, too. On the side, make sure everyone has a little cup of stew broth for dipping! No birria taco is ever complete without being dipped into that incredibly addictive broth.
Can I make them spicier?
While birria tacos already have a spicy kick, there are certainly more ways to add some extra heat. For starters, you could always garnish your tacos with some freshly chopped jalapeños! Additionally, you could add Serrano or Scotch Bonnet peppers to the marinade if you really want to make it extra spicy.
More Easy Taco Recipes
- Thai Chicken Tacos with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Barbecue Pork Rib Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw
- Slow Cooker Beef Tacos
- Slow Cooker Maple Balsamic Pork Tacos with Celery Root and Apple Slaw
- Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- Breakfast Tacos
Get the Recipe: Birria Tacos Recipe
- 1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 pound boneless beef short ribs, but into 2 inch cubes
For the Marinade:
- 4 dried guajillo peppers
- 2 dried ancho chili peppers
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Stew:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 32 onces beef stock
For the Tacos:
- 12 4" corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 cup Oaxaca cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup chopped onion, optional
- 1/2 cup Queso Fresco, crumbled
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- dutch oven
To make the stew:
- Season the chuck roast and short ribs with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from the heat.
- Soak the guajillo and ancho chilis for 10 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the water. Cut off the stem and remove the seeds.
- Put the peppers into the pitcher of a blender. Add one chipotle pepper, all of the adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne.
- Blend the marinade until smooth.
- Place the meat in a large container and cover with the marinade. Toss to coat. Cover and marinade for 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300˚F.
- Heat the olive oil to a large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until softened.
- Transfer the meat and all of the marinade to the pot.
- Stir in the cinnamon sticks, cloves and beef stock.
- Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise the meat for 3 hours.
- Remove the Birria stew from the oven and skim off some of the fat. Reserve the fat to cook the tacos.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the stew meat to a platter and shred with two forks.
- Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine.
To make the tacos:
- Add one tablespoon of the reserved fat to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.
- Dip the tortillas in the stew and add the tortillas to the heated skillet. (You may have to work one at a time depending on how big your skillet is.)
- Immediately top the tortilla with the shredded Oaxaca cheese. When the cheese has melted, add some of the shredded beef and fold one side of the tortilla over the other. Fry until crisp.
- Using a spatula, transfer the taco to a platter and keep warm.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas. (You will have leftover Birria meat. Save for another dinner.)
- Top the finished Birria Tacos with chopped onion, queso Fresco, or cilantro, if desired.
- Serve with some of the stew broth for dipping!