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Beef Birria Tacos with Consomé (Stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot)

Meet the holy grail of tacos!!! These crispy beef birria tacos with a side of rich and flavorful consomé for dipping. One bite of these tacos and you’ll understand how they became the hottest taco trend.

Plate of birra quesatacos with a bowl of consomé surrounded by a bunch of cilantro, a lime, radishes, and a small bowl of diced onions and cilantro.

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Let me introduce you to the holy grail of tacos 🙌

I hope you caught my recipe for beef birria (Mexican stew), because it’s the BEST (in my opinion anyhow). In case you didn’t, let me begin by telling you a little bit about it.

Birria is a Mexican stew originating from the state of Jalisco. Traditionally it was made with goat, however, this recipe calls for beef as it is more accessible. Alternately it can be made with chicken, veal, lamb, or pork.

The incredible depth of flavor and richness of this dish is the result of the plethora of spices and aromatics that were originally incorporated in an attempt to mask the gaminess of the goat meat.

Since it is slow-cooked at a low temperature the beef is super tender and infused with flavor. The broth is heartyuber flavorful, and contains just the right amount of fat. The flavors of this dish are so complex and enticing.

That all sounds absolutely wonderful, right???

Now let’s take that one step further. Imagine this…..

Two corn tortillas dipped in the rich and fatty birria broth (consomé), filled with cheese, and fried. You may be conjuring up images of quesadillas at this point; if you are you’re on the right track. Let’s keep going.

Imagine filling the quesadilla shell with the juicy beef pulled directly out of the birria consomé 🤤 and then topping it off with cilantro, diced onion, and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice.

Sounds like heaven, right?!? And it is! BUT we’re not finished yet, so I hope your imaginative juices are still flowing.

Next we are going to take that mouthwateringly delicious taco and dip it in the consomé. *drip, drip, drip*

Ok, I’m done teasing you now. Go on and make them for yourself. Your mind is about to be blown!! For realz!!!!

Seriously, two out of my four kids said these babies are the BEST tacos they have ever had. And my two-year-old, who can’t really speak much yet, chowed his down in no time, so I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say he enjoyed them as well. Definitely warmed this mama’s heart  💗.

A plate of tacos with a bowl of consomé atop a white towel.

Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for beef birria tacos (see recipe card).
  • Beef chuck roast: You may also make this dish with chicken, veal, goat, lamb, pork, or even another cut of beef such as short ribs, oxtail, or beef cheek another option is to use a combination of any of the aforementioned proteins. Aside from beef, I have only tried pork thus far. If you opt to sub pork, I recommend a pork butt roast. The recipe calls for three pounds, however, it does not need to be exact. I’ve used the same ratio of ingredients for a 3 1/3 pound roast.
  • Kosher salt: To season the meat and for the chile sauce.
  • Black pepper: A combination of peppercorns and ground or soley ground is required to season the meat and for the chile sauce.
  • Olive oil
  • Chile de árbol: Chile de árbol are a small Mexican chile pepper that falls between a Serrano pepper and a cayenne pepper on the Scoville scale. Your local grocery store may carry them if they have a decent Mexican section. If not they can be found at Mexican markets and are available for purchase online. Check out my product recommendations below for a link to my favorite chile de árbol on Amazon. Additionally, the chiles will need to be destemmed and deseeded. The stems can easily be pulled off. The simplest way to deseed them is to cut them open with kitchen shears and then scoop/scrape out the seeds.
  • Guajillo chile peppers: Guajillo chiles are the dried version of mirasol chili. They are one of the most commonly used Mexican dried chiles and like the chile de árbol can often be found in the grocery store as well as Mexican markets and online (I have included an Amazon link below). These chiles are rich in flavor; smokey and fruity and are mild to medium as far as heat goes. If you are unable to find these chiles, pasilla or ancho would be the best alternative.
  • Garlic: A whole head!
  • White onion: For the birria and to top the tacos.
  • Beef broth: Could sub for chicken broth or even water.
  • Apple cider vinegar: A little bit of vinegar brings balance to the dish, cutting some of the richness.
  • Paprika: Traditionally birria does not contain paprika, so feel free to leave it out if you’d like to keep it more authentic. Personally, I love paprika and what it adds to this dish, especially the smoked variety.
  • Ground cumin
  • Dried oregano: Mexican oregano if you have it.
  • Ground clove: You can use whole or ground cloves. For some the taste of clove can be overpowering. If you are not a big fan of clove, feel free to leave it out or add just a pinch.
  • Bay leaves
  • Cinnamon stick: If you do not have a cinnamon stick, you can use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • Soft corn tortillas: White or yellow.
  • Oaxaca cheese: Oaxaca is a Mexican cheese that is quite similar to Mozzarella. It’s a mild creamy cheese made from cow’s milk that melts really well. If you have access to a Mexican market you can find it there or at some grocery stores with the other Mexican cheeses that typically come in round packages. If you are unable to find Oaxaca, queso quesadilla, Chihuahua, mozzarella, or even Monterey Jack are suitable alternatives.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is a staple in Mexican-style tacos and adds a nice freshness to the dish. If you do not like cilantro, however, feel free to skip it.
  • Lime wedges: Some acid to cut the richness.

How to make beef birria tacos with consomé (+ tips)


1. Liberally sprinkle beef chuck roast with salt and pepper, rub into the roast, and set aside.

2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil

3. Meanwhile, heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Toast the chile de árbol and guajillo chiles for 1-2 minutes. Once boiling, remove the pot of water from the stovetop and submerge the chiles for 10-15 minutes.

Chiles soaking in water in a saucepan.

4. Meanwhile, heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic cloves and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly browned. If using whole spices, add the black peppercorns and cloves and cook for another 1-2 minutes then transfer everything to your blender.

Sautéed onion and garlic in a Dutch oven.

5. Add the chiles, one cup of beef broth, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano, two teaspoons of salt, and ginger and pulse until smooth. ***If you opted not to use whole black peppercorns and cloves, add one teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger.

Chile sauce in a blender.

6. Heat one tablespoon of oil in your pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chuck roast for 2-3 minutes then flip and sear for another 2-3 minutes.

Seared chuck roast chunks in a Dutch oven.

7. Add the chile sauce from step six and the remaining beef broth and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. ***If you did not use a high-powered blender to process the chile sauce, you may want to run it through a sieve to catch any chunks prior to adding it.

8. For stovetop: Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 3-4 hours; shred meat, if desired, discard any chunks of fat, and return to stove to simmer for another hour. For slow cooker: Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours; shred meat and return to pot. Go ahead and serve or allow to cook another hour. For Instant Pot: Close the lid and pressure valve and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally, then do a quick release. Shred the meat and return to the pot.

Close up of shredded beef.
Stew in a Dutch oven.

9. To assemble the tacos: Heat an oil-coated skillet over medium heat.

Skim the grease off of the top of the birria using a spoon and transfer to a shallow bowl wide enough to dip the corn tortillas in.

Lightly dip a tortilla in the reserved grease.

Corn tortilla soaking in bowl of consomé fat.

Shake off the excess then place in the skillet. Sprinkle with cheese (approximately 1-2 tablespoons), top with about 1/4 of the beef, fold-over creating a taco, and smash down with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Repeat, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Serve warm with a small bowl of consomé topped with diced white onion and cilantro for dipping.


Storage


Refrigerate beef birria in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.


FAQ


Is it spicy?

As is common with chile peppers there can be quite a bit of variation in the level of heat. This variation does affect the end result of this dish as far as spiciness goes. Regardless of the batch of chiles used, it is a bit spicy. If you would like to make this recipe but would prefer it to keep on the milder side my recommendation is to either cut down on the number of chile de árbol or to leave them out altogether and instead add 2-3 extra guajillo chiles.

Is this recipe authentic?

This is my take on birria and it is not authentic. I have no connection to the state of Jalisco where the recipe originated nor have I ever traveled there. As mentioned above, birria was originally made with goat or lamb meat. My recipe calls for beef instead as it is more accessible in America and also more palatable to most Americans. I have also included paprika in this dish which is not traditional.



Plate of birria tacos with a small bowl of consomé atop a towel with a sliced lime and a bunch of cilantro.
Close-up of a plate of overlapping beef birria tacos with side of consomé.
A taco dipping in consomé being held above a bowl with cilantro in background.

More birria recipes:


  • Birria Ramen with Quesadilla Strips: Birria ramen is a wonderful way to use up leftover birria. It begins with a consomé based broth that is thick, rich, and a bit spicy, then noodles, tender beef, soft boiled eggs, crispy quesadilla strips, and of course, TOPPINGS! This fusion style ramen is guaranteed to knock your socks off!!
  • Birria Baked Potato: Don’t let a single bit of birria go to waste. Use up your leftovers to make this birria baked potato loaded with cheese, white onion, and cilantro. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable.
  • Birria Fries: My favorite way to use up leftover birria, these loaded birria fries are what dreams are made of. These crispy fries crowned with melted cheese, juicy beef birria, and your choice of toppings are simple to prepare and so damn delicious. Naturally gluten-free.

If you make these beef birria tacos with consomé I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Plate of birra quesatacos with a bowl of consomé surrounded by a bunch of cilantro, a lime, radishes, and a small bowl of diced onions and cilantro.

Beef Birria Tacos with Consomé

Yield: 24 tacos
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 39 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 19 minutes

These tacos are EVERYTHING!! They start consomé dipped cheese quesadilla shells, then succulent, flavorful beef topped with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. Served with a side of consomé for dipping. Options for stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. Naturally gluten-free.

Ingredients

Beef Birria

  • 3-4 pound beef chuck roast, cut into 2"-3" chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt + more to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns or ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 dried chile de árbol peppers, destemmed and deseeded (see notes)
  • 6 dried guajillo chile peppers, destemmed and deseeded
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered 
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves or 1/2 tablespoon ground clove (See notes)
  • 5 cups beef broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably smoked
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the Tacos

  • 24 corn tortillas, white or yellow
  • 10 ounces Oaxaca cheese, queso quesadilla cheese or Monterey jack, shredded 
  • Non-stick cooking spray 
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced white onion
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

Beef Birria

  1. Liberally sprinkle beef chuck roast with salt and pepper, rub into the roast, and set aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Toast the chile de árbol and guajillo chiles for 1-2 minutes. Once boiling, remove the pot of water from the stovetop and submerge the chiles for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic cloves and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly browned. If using whole spices, add the black peppercorns and cloves and cook for another 1-2 minutes then transfer everything to your blender.
  5. Add the chiles, one cup of beef broth, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano, two teaspoons of salt, and ginger and pulse until smooth. ***If you opted not to use whole black peppercorns and cloves, add one teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger.
  6. Heat one tablespoon of oil in your pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chuck roast for 2-3 minutes then flip and sear for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the chile sauce from step six and the remaining beef broth and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. ***If you did not use a high powered blender to process the chile sauce, you may want to run it through a sieve to catch any chunks prior to adding it.
  8. For stovetop: Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 3-4 hours; shred meat, if desired, discard any chunks of fat, and return to stove to simmer for another hour. For slow cooker: Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours; shred meat and return to pot. Go ahead and serve or allow to cook another hour. For Instant Pot: Close the lid and pressure valve and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally, then do a quick release. Shred the meat and return to the pot.
  9. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

For the Tacos

  1. Heat an oil-coated skillet over medium heat.
  2. Skim the grease off of the top of the birria using a spoon and transfer to a shallow bowl wide enough to dip the corn tortillas in.
  3. Lightly dip a tortilla in the reserved grease, shake off the excess then place in the skillet. Sprinkle with cheese (approximately 1-2 tablespoons), top with about 1/4 of the beef, fold-over creating a taco, and smash down with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Repeat, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
  4. Serve warm with a small bowl of consomé topped with diced white onion and cilantro for dipping.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

Notes

  • To cut some of the heat, I recommend either cutting down the chile de arbol or leaving them out completely and instead of adding 2-3 extra guajillo chiles.
  • For some people, the taste of clove can be overpowering. If you are not a big fan of clove, feel free to leave it out or add just a pinch.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3 tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1058Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 1233mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 13gSugar: 9gProtein: 67g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Ann

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Your pictures have my mouth watering! These sound wonderful! I am a huge taco fan, so I must make these tacos!

Melissa

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

The recipe doesn’t say how long to let it naturally release using the Instapot.

Jessica Halverstadt

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Sorry about that! Until the float valve pops down into the lid.

Sarah

Friday 18th of February 2022

Is there somewhere I can find the old recipe? This new one is very confusingly written, I feel like an editor might be needed to help clear up things. I enjoyed making this in the past for special occasions, I wasn't planning on the recipe changing 😅

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 18th of February 2022

I'm sorry that you found the instructions confusing. I will go over them and make adjustments as necessary.

Here is the old recipe: Ingredients 3 pound beef chuck roast 10 dried chile de árbol peppers 6 dried guajillo chile peppers 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1 large white onion, quartered Water 2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon oregano 1/2 tablespoon ground clove 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick Directions Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the beef chuck roast. Rub it into roast and set aside. Place the chile de árbol, guajillo chiles, garlic, and onions in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the stove then transfer one cup of the cooking liquid, the chiles, garlic, and onion to a blender. Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, ground clove, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth. You may then run it through a fine sieve if you wish to rid it completely of any small bits of chile skin. Cut the beef chuck roast into large pieces and place in a dutch oven. Add the sauce from step three and just enough water to cover the meat. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-6 hours. Shred the meat and return it to the stove to simmer for an additional 1-2 hours.

Thanks for your feedback!!!

Shannon

Sunday 13th of February 2022

Is there somewhere I can find your previous recipe for this? This page has been updated since I last made it and seems more labor intensive. I am definitely more of the simple type 😂

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 18th of February 2022

I am so sorry I missed this comment and sorry you're not fond of the updates.

Here is the old recipe: Ingredients 3 pound beef chuck roast 10 dried chile de árbol peppers 6 dried guajillo chile peppers 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1 large white onion, quartered Water 2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon oregano 1/2 tablespoon ground clove 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick Directions Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the beef chuck roast. Rub it into roast and set aside. Place the chile de árbol, guajillo chiles, garlic, and onions in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the stove then transfer one cup of the cooking liquid, the chiles, garlic, and onion to a blender. Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, ground clove, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth. You may then run it through a fine sieve if you wish to rid it completely of any small bits of chile skin. Cut the beef chuck roast into large pieces and place in a dutch oven. Add the sauce from step three and just enough water to cover the meat. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-6 hours. Shred the meat and return it to the stove to simmer for an additional 1-2 hours.

Take care!

Toni

Saturday 6th of November 2021

I love everything about this! So good!

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

Thanks!

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