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Birria de res Recipe (Best Quesabirria Tacos)

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If you've been on social media at all in the past year or so, you've probably seen those mouthwatering videos of gooey quesabirria tacos dipped in a rich, red broth. That's the magic of birria de res recipe, folks.

Traditionally made with goat meat in the Mexican state of Jalisco, birria de res has become a worldwide sensation. Here in the United States, it's incredibly common to find it made with beef. Its melt-in-your-mouth tender meat, warm spices, and insanely flavorful consommé (broth) make it the perfect comfort food, especially for special occasions.

A close-up photo of a person dipping a half-moon shaped quesabirria taco into a bowl of red consommé. The taco is filled with melted cheese and shredded beef.

Quesabirria Tacos may sound fancy, but they're surprisingly simple to make! Juicy shredded beef simmers in a fragrant, spiced broth until incredibly tender. Then, it's all about melty cheese, crispy tortillas, and a dunk in the flavorful consommé. A restaurant-quality birria recipe you can easily create at home!

Now, I'll admit, this complex dish intimidated me at first. But after some research, and a little bit of practice, I'm hooked! And I'm here to tell you that this isn't some impossible recipe. Let's dive in!

stack of birria de res tacos

Authentic Birria Ingredients

Here's the key to great birria de res: the chiles! It's all about those dried guajillo chiles and sometimes ancho chiles. You'll find these easily at most grocery stores in the Mexican food aisle. They bring a delightful smokiness and a touch of heat.

Of course, we can't forget the beef. A  beef chuck roast is ideal, but  you can experiment with other cuts like short ribs, beef shank, and even beef cheek for that extra-tender texture.

Other must-haves include garlic cloves, white onion, Roma tomatoes,  spices like oregano, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, and cloves. Beef broth adds richness, and you'll usually find some apple cider vinegar in there for a bit of tang.

So Many Ways to Cook It

Traditionally, a birria de res recipe is made in a large pot on the stovetop. But the beauty of this recipe is its versatility. It works amazingly well in a slow cooker for that set-it-and-forget-it ease. If you're short on time, an Instant Pot or pressure cooker will dramatically speed things up. And let's not forget the classic Dutch oven – perfect for searing our beef before it takes a long, luxurious braise.

overheard shot of easy birria de res recipe on a plate

The Recipe: Quesabirria Tacos Style

Okay, enough talk; let's get cooking! Today, I'm making quesabirria tacos – that ultra-trendy, Instagrammable version that has everyone drooling. However, this birria is a star in so many other dishes too – try it in soup, ramen, or even on top of nachos! Here are some easy step-by-step instructions.

Quesabirria tacos

Prep Time: Approximately 30 minutes. 

Cook Time: About 3.5 hours.

Servings: 12 tacos, or for 4-6 people.

birria de res recipe ingredients

Ingredients:

For the Birria:

  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 8 dried guajillo chilies
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered.
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 white onion, quartered.
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • tsp whole peppercorns
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 4 cups beef broth
    4 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

For the Consommé (Birria broth):

  • Reserved cooking liquid from the Birria
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

For Assembling Tacos:

  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 12 oz Grated Oaxaca cheese
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped.
  • Lime wedges
birria de res recipe process shot

Instructions

Preparing the Ingredients:

  • Remove the seeds from 8 guajillo chilies.
  • Peel and chop one of the onions.
  • Cut the top off a whole garlic bulb and remove some of the outer skin.
  • Cut your beef into large pieces.
  • Grind together cumin, coriander, peppercorns, cloves, and oregano until it's a fine powder.


Cooking the Birria:

  • In a large pot, put the beef, guajillo chilies, chopped onion, garlic, bay leaves, the ground spice mix, some salt, beef broth, and water. Cook this on high heat for about 30 minutes.
  • In a blender, put the quartered Roma tomatoes.
  • Remove the guajillo chilies, onion, garlic (after peeling), and about half a cup of the broth. Blend these with the tomatoes until it's smooth.
  • Strain this blended sauce and add it back to the broth in the pot. Continue cooking for 3 hours on low-medium heat, with the lid slightly covering the pot and stirring every 30 minutes.


Preparing the Tacos:

  • When the meat is very tender, take it out of the pot and let it cool a bit.
  • Finely chop the remaining onion.
  • Cut the limes into eight pieces.
  • Chop half of the cilantro finely and remove the stems from the other half. Set this cilantro aside.
  • Shred your cheese.
  • Shred the beef using two forks.
  • Remove the oil that's floating on top of the broth with a spoon and put it on a plate.
  • Dip your tortillas in this oil and then add cheese and beef to each tortilla.
  • In a pan with a bit of oil, cook the tacos on medium heat. After about a minute, fold them in half.
  • Cook the folded tacos for another minute on each side until they're golden brown. Repeat for all the tacos.

Making the Consommé:

  • Take about a cup of the broth and mix it with the finely chopped cilantro and diced onions in a bowl to create a flavorful consommé.

Serving the Tacos:

  • Add cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and the remaining diced onions as garnishes to your tacos.
  • Serve your delicious Birria tacos with the consommé for dipping. Enjoy!

Step by Step Process Video

Pro Tips for the perfect Birria de res recipe

  • Achieving the Right Consistency: The key to a delicious birria is a flavorful broth that's neither too thin nor too thick. Start with the recommended amount of water in the recipe, and then adjust according to your preference as the birria cooks down. If it seems too thick, add a bit more water or beef stock. Don't forget to skim excess fat off the top of the broth for the best flavor.
  • The Ideal Red Color: The deep red hue of birria broth is one of its hallmarks. While the guajillo chiles provide a beautiful base color, you can enhance it with a touch of adobo sauce (from canned chipotle peppers) or a small amount of tomato paste.
  • Storage and Reheating: Birria tastes even better the next day! Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth if needed. Birria also freezes exceptionally well for longer storage.
  • Taco Time:
    • Sear the Beef: Searing your beef before braising adds a depth of flavor and caramelization.
    • Warm the Tortillas: For the best quesabirria experience, dip your corn tortillas in the flavorful broth before adding the cheese and beef filling.
    • Cheese Choices: Oaxaca cheese is the classic choice for quesabirrias due to its amazing meltability. If you can't find it, Monterey Jack or a blend of melting cheeses works beautifully.

Leftover Birria: Delicious Ways to Reinvent Your Meal

Birria is the gift that keeps on giving! With its deeply flavorful meat and rich broth, there are endless ways to enjoy it beyond quesabirria tacos. Here are a few delicious ideas for your birria de res recipe leftovers:

  • Birria Ramen: Transform the classic Japanese noodle soup with an intensely savory Mexican twist. Simply heat your birria broth, add ramen noodles, and top with shredded birria meat, chopped green onions, a soft-boiled egg, and a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Birria Nachos: Layer tortilla chips with shredded birria, warm refried beans, melted cheese, and your favorite nacho toppings like pico de gallo, jalapeños, and sour cream. A fun and easy party appetizer!
  • Birria Quesadillas: Keep it classic! Pan-fry tortillas filled with leftover birria meat, shredded cheese, and any other fillings you like, such as sauteed onions or peppers.
ready to eat birria de res tacos

The Best Birria Toppings & Sauces

Take your birria experience to the next level with a variety of toppings and condiments. These simple additions will help you personalize your quesabirria tacos or any other birria dish:

  • Classic: Diced white onion, fresh cilantro, and a generous squeeze of lime juice are staples.
  • Pickled: Pickled red onions add brightness and a pop of acidity.
  • Spicy: Diced radish, sliced jalapeños, or your favorite hot sauce provide a kick of heat.
  • Salsas: Go beyond the consommé with salsa verde (green salsa) or salsa roja (red salsa) for a variety of flavors.
  • Creamy: Top your birria with guacamole, sliced avocado, sour cream, or Mexican crema for a cool and creamy element.

Remember: Customize your toppings based on your taste preference! With a bit of creativity, your birria can be enjoyed in so many different ways.

FAQs About Birria de Res

  • Can I make birria with other types of meat? While traditionally made with goat, beef birria is an excellent choice.
  • Is birria spicy? The heat level is customizable and those dried chiles add a depth of flavor more than intense spice.
  • What's the difference between birria and regular Mexican beef stew? Birria's unique flavor profile comes from the specific blend of chiles and spices.
  • Can I make it in advance? Like many stews, birria gets better with time! Learn how to store and reheat it safely.

Let's Get Cooking this birria de res recipe!

If you thought birria de res was complicated, I hope this blog post has shown you otherwise! Remember, lots of grocery stores sell pre-made birria spice packets to simplify the flavor profile. For the most authentic experience, track down those whole dried chiles! Have fun with the process, and don't be afraid to experiment.

Let me know if you have any questions – let's conquer this amazing Mexican dish together. And if you try the recipe, be sure to tag me on social media!

Yield: 12

Quesabirria tacos

A close-up photo of a person dipping a half-moon shaped quesabirria taco into a bowl of red consommé. The taco is filled with melted cheese and shredded beef.

Quesabirria Tacos may sound fancy, but they're surprisingly simple to make! Juicy shredded beef simmers in a fragrant, spiced broth until incredibly tender. Then, it's all about melty cheese, crispy tortillas, and a dunk in the flavorful consommé. A restaurant-quality dish you can easily create at home!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours

Ingredients

  • For the Birria:
  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 8 dried guajillo chilies
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered.
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 white onion, quartered.
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • tsp whole peppercorns
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • For the Consommé (Birria broth):
  • Reserved cooking liquid from the Birria
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • For Assembling Tacos:
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 12 oz Grated Oaxaca cheese
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped.
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

    Preparing the Ingredients:
    Remove the seeds from 8 guajillo chilies.
    Peel and chop one of the onions.
    Cut the top off a whole garlic bulb and remove some of the outer skin.
    Cut your beef into large pieces.
    Grind together cumin, coriander, peppercorns, cloves, and oregano until it's a fine powder.

    Cooking the Birria:
    In a large pot, put the beef, guajillo chilies, chopped onion, garlic, bay leaves, the ground spice mix, some salt, beef broth, and water. Cook this on high heat for about 30 minutes.
    In a blender, put the quartered Roma tomatoes.
    Remove the guajillo chilies, onion, garlic (after peeling), and about half a cup of the broth. Blend these with the tomatoes until it's smooth.
    Strain this blended sauce and add it back to the broth in the pot. Continue cooking for 3 hours on low-medium heat, with the lid slightly covering the pot and stirring every 30 minutes.

    Preparing the Tacos:
    When the meat is very tender, take it out of the pot and let it cool a bit.
    Finely chop the remaining onion.
    Cut the limes into eight pieces.
    Chop half of the cilantro finely and remove the stems from the other half. Set this cilantro aside.
    Shred your cheese.
    Shred the beef using two forks.
    Remove the oil that's floating on top of the broth with a spoon and put it on a plate.
    Dip your tortillas in this oil and then add cheese and beef to each tortilla.
    In a pan with a bit of oil, cook the tacos on medium heat. After about a minute, fold them in half.
    Cook the folded tacos for another minute on each side until they're golden brown. Repeat for all the tacos.

    Making the Consommé:
    Take about a cup of the broth and mix it with the finely chopped cilantro and diced onions in a bowl to create a flavorful consommé.

    Serving the Tacos:
    Add cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and the remaining diced onions as garnishes to your tacos.
    Serve your delicious Birria tacos with the consommé for dipping. Enjoy!

You might also like Sheet Pan Fajitas (easy Chicken sheet-pan recipe), Authentic elote recipe: Easy Mexican Street Corn, or 25+ Recipes that call for Avocado.

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