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Authentic Birria Tacos Recipe
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Authentic Birria Tacos Recipe

Birria de res is a tender meat stew packed with chili flavor served on its own, or chopped and piled onto doubled up corn tortillas (tacos de birria).
Course taco
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef, birria, birria de res, braise, chili, Jalisco, tijuana
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 8

Ingredients

For the chili braising liquid:

  • 5 large guajillo chilies
  • 4 large ancho chilies
  • 4 chiles de arbol
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

For the birria de res:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2” chunks
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves

For serving:

  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 3 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, or part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced

Instructions

For the chili braising liquid:

  • Add the guajillo, ancho and chiles de arbol to a large bowl and top with boiling water. Let sit until the chilies are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the stems from the chilies and shake out the seeds and discard. Save the soaking liquid.
  • Add the chilies, apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, organo, paprika, cumin and 2 cups of the chili soaking water to a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth.

For the birria de res:

  • Heat oven to 300ºF (150ºC).
  • Season the cubed beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Working in batches, add the beef and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add all of the seared beef back to the pot and top with the blended chili mixture, onion, beef stock and 2 cups of water. Wrap the bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon stick and cloves in cheesecloth, tie to close and add to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Braise the beef until fork tender, about 3 hours.
  • Discard the spices. Remove the meat from the braising liquid to a cutting board. Let cool slightly then chop the meat with a cleaver or large knife.
  • Add to a large mixing bowl with about 2 cups of the braising liquid and ½ cup of the chopped cilantro.

For serving:

  • In a small mixing bowl stir together the onion, remaining cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, Dip the tortilla into the top fat of the braising liquid. Add to the pan and fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Serve topped with the beef and onions or to make quesabirria add some of the cheese on top followed by some of the beef. Fold over and continue to cook like a quesadilla, until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining tacos and meat.
  • Ladle the consommé into small bowls for dipping. Top both the tacos and consommé with the onion mixture and serve hot with sides of limes and radishes.