Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Best Beef Birria and Birria Tacos

8 servings


20 minutes

active time

3 hours 50 minutes

total time


7-8 cups hot water

4 lbs chuck roast (cut into 4 large chunks)

2 lbs short ribs (bone in) (or back ribs bone in )

1 large white onion (dry skins removed, cut in half crosswise)

1 garlic bulb (cut the narrow top off, no need to peel)

1 carrot (cut in half crosswise, then cut in half (4 large pieces of carrot))

5 bay leaves (dried)

8 guajillo chiles (stems cut off and seeds removed)

3 tbsp chicken boullion

1-2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp mexican oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt ((adjust to taste))

14-16 white corn tortillas

2 cups quesadilla cheese (or any good melting cheese)


Combine Ingredients: In large pot add meat, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves and dried peppers. Cover with water. (This uses my large 7 qt pot and fills it to the top!)

Add Seasonings: Add chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin and salt, stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Skim: After 30 minutes, skim the top of the pot to remove impurities from the bone cooking out. (will look like little bits of foam on the top)

Blend Peppers: Remove the peppers (should be softened) and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, add up to 1/4 cup of broth if needed to help get a smooth consistency.

Strain Peppers

Strain: Strain the peppers if needed to remove bits of skin (if using a high powered blender this step is not necessary).

Combine: Add the blended peppers into the broth and stir to combine.

Season: Add in the chili powder as desired to get a nice deep red color to the broth.

Simmer: Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 hours or until meat is tender and easily shredding on it’s own. (remove lid and give a stir every 40 minutes or so. Can also taste the broth once the meat is cooked through and adjust seasonings as needed).

Reserve Grease: Skim the grease from the top of the broth (SAVE THIS!) pour the grease into a small skillet or saucepan, this is used for making the tacos if desired.

Remove Flavorings

Remove the onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaves from the broth. (these ingredients were in the broth for flavoring…people are more than welcome to eat and enjoy them, so save them if you want!)

Cut Meat

Serving: Remove the meat from the broth and cut into large chunks for serving. Remove any bones.

To Serve as a Stew:

Serve Soup

Serve a couple pieces of meat into a bowl, spoon broth on top.


Top with diced onion and fresh cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze in.

To Make Quesabirria Tacos:

Chop Meat: Remove the meat from the broth, and finely chop until only small pieces remain.

Heat Skillet

Heat a large skillet/griddle over medium heat.

Frying Tortillas: Dip the corn tortilla into the reserved grease from the broth.

Add Fillings

Place on heated griddle, top with the chopped meat and cheese.


Fold the taco over and press down with a spatula. Continue cooking until the taco is crisp and golden on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Then flip and continue cooking the other side. (it’s ok if some of the cheese leaks out while frying, the golden cheese is the best part!) Plus you can spoon some additional grease onto the tortilla while it cooks if you need more coloring to the tortilla.

Cook until both sides are crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly before serving, will be very hot.

Continue until all tacos are cooked.


Top tacos with fresh cilantro and onion if desired.

Serving: Serve with a bowl of the broth topped with onions and cilantro on the side.

Dip the tacos into the broth while eating.


Serving Size



857 kcal

Total Fat

51 g

Saturated Fat

25 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



269 mg


857 mg

Total Carbohydrate

24 g

Dietary Fiber

4 g

Total Sugars

2 g


77 g

8 servings


20 minutes

active time

3 hours 50 minutes

total time
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