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Birria Tacos

This Birria Tacos Recipe made from tasty and tender meat have a spicy kick and are full of so much delicious flavor. They're all the rage right now and you won't be able to stop at just one.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 36 mins
Total Time4 hrs 51 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 329kcal


  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs with bones
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 7 ounce can chipotle in adobo
  • 2 quarts low sodium beef broth divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the stock:

  • 1 large sweet onion skin removed cut into 4ths
  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half to expose the cloves
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

To serve:

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded quesadilla cheese
  • 1 cup small diced onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges


  • Use scissor or a knife to cut off the tops of the dried guajillo and ancho chiles. Toss the stems and seeds.
  • Add them to a large dutch oven or large pot and add in 2 quarts of water before placing on high heat. Bring ite to a boil then take remove from the heat and let it all soak for 15 minutes.
  • Season the shorts ribs all over with the salt and set them aside.
  • Strain the chiles out of the water and add them to a blender. Now, add in the chipotle in adobo and 2 cups of the beef broth and blend it until it's all completely smooth before setting it aside.
  • Discard the water from the dutch oven/pot and wipe out any excess water leftover. Place the pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Working in batches, sear the short ribs on all sides until they're golden brown, do not overcrowd the pan. Use the extra oil as needed to sear the rest of the short ribs. Once you've seared the short ribs place them on a plate or sheet tray and set them aside.
  • Wipe out any excess grease from the pot/dutch oven. Then add in the onion, carrots, and garlic. Then pour in the blended chiles along with the remaining beef broth.
  • Next, add the tomato paste, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir together.
  • Toss the short ribs back into the pot, and stir them around with the rest of the pot ingredinets so they are covered in the liquid. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Then cover and simmer for about 3 ½ - 4 hours or until the short ribs are tender enough to shred. Stir occasionally so nothing sticks on the bottom.
  • Remove the short ribs out and place them onto a plate and set the plate aside.
  • Strain the stock and discard any of the solids that remain in the strainer. Pour the liquid back into the pot and keep it warm.
  • Remove the meat from the bones and shred the meat. Discard the bones and any large chunks of fat if have any.
  • Place a large skillet, like a cast iron skillet, over medium heat. Work in batches and make one taco at a time. Then dip a corn tortilla into the cooking liquid, let the excess liquid drip off and place it directly on the griddle. Add about ¼ cup or a little less of the shredded meat on top of the tortilla then add about 2 tablespoons of the cheese on top of the meat. Fold the tortilla over the filling to make a taco. Gently press the top down. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Once finished, place the tacos onto a wire rack that's over a sheet tray to catch any drips, this will help keep the tacos crispy. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until all tacos have been made.
  • Serve immediately with diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges along with a bowl of the cooking liquid “stew” for dipping and enjoy.


  1. We sear off the short ribs first to add a depth of flavor to the overall dish, if you are tight on time you can skip this step and add the short ribs directly to the broth in step 7, if needed.
  2. This makes a large batch, you can halve the recipe or keep leftovers if needed.
  3. The cinnamon stick adds an enticing aroma and complexity of flavors to the tacos. It is not overwhelming but the little addition makes your guests question what your secret ingredient is!
  4. Serve these by themselves or with some Mexican rice adn beans for a whole complete meal. 
  5. You can freeze these for later, use my tips above. 
  6. Feel free to change the spice level on these by using my suggestions shared above. 
  7. You can swap the meats out, other options are listed above. 


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1067mg | Potassium: 914mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4173IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg