Chile-Loaded and Versatile, Our Beef Birria Is One for the Books
We first encountered birria when we tried it in the infamously amazing tacos served at Teddy’s Red Tacos in Venice, CA. It was love at first bite, and we’ve been working hard to create a version of birria that’s easy enough to make at home, but still bursting with the beefy, chile-y, spicy goodness that stole our hearts. And sure enough, we eventually figured it out. This recipe hits the spot! If you’re not familiar with it, birria is a traditional dish from the Mexican state of Jalisco, though it can be found throughout Mexico these days, not to mention in homes and restaurants all over the U.S., too! Rich with chilies and cozy, warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, birria is most authentically made with goat meat, but beef birria—”birria de res”—has become popular of late. We just adore this hearty, fragrant, chile-heavy stew-like braise, and we know you will, too.
Meet Your Main Beef Birria Ingredients
Beef birria is a wonderful recipe to make on a weekend day, when you have time to just let the beef braise slowly—good old low-and-slow—and fill your home with its deeply spiced, wonderfully heady aromas. Though you will need to set aside some time, you won’t need to make any special grocery runs for the ingredients. The main components of this recipe are just:
Dried chiles. We love a combination of three easy-to-find dried chiles! Ancho chiles (which are dried poblanos), guajillo chiles (a tangy, sweet chile that’s really delicious), chiles de árbol (a thin, classic Mexican chile that’s 6 times as hot as a jalapeño!).
Dried herbs and spices: cinnamon, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, ginger
Beef! Beef birria recipes really vary a lot in terms of what cut of beef they call for. We favor chuck roast, which is ideal for a low-and-slow braise like this. Plus, it’s not usually too expensive.
How to Make Beef Birria
If you’ve ever made a braised beef dish, this whole process will be mostly familiar. Here’s how to make beef birria:
Prepare the dried chiles. Seed, toast, and soak the chiles. It sounds like a whole thing, but it only takes about 20 minutes. Detailed how-to is in the recipe at the bottom of the page.
Brown the beef. Cook it in batches if need be, and make sure you get a nice browning on all sides. Set it aside, or just go ahead and put it right into your Dutch oven.
Make the birria sauce / broth base! There should be some fat and oil left in the pan from searing the beef—that’s a good thing! Use it to cook the onion wedges a bit, then add garlic, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, and ginger. After a minute or two, pour in the beef stock and vinegar.
Time to blend! Pour the onion, broth and spice mixture into a blender, and add the seeded, soaked and drained chiles. Blend! Voila! You’ve made the world's best braising liquid.
Pour your chile sauce over all of the beef into a Dutch oven, and cook for about 3 to 3.5 hours, until the meat is falling apart.
How To Serve Beef Birria
There’s so much you can do with beef birria! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Serve it as a hearty, rich stew in bowls, garnished with chopped onion and cilantro with warm tortillas on the side.
As a filling for quesadillas.
Or try our birria tacos!