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Easy Birria Tacos Recipe

Birria tacos are a delicious type of Mexican food that originated in the state of Jalisco. These tacos are made with tender braised beef, and a variety of peppers and spices. Corn tortillas are dipped in the broth, filled with shredded beef and cheese, and fried until the corn tortillas are crispy.

Topping these birria tacos is fresh lime juice, cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Quesabirria tacos topped with queso fresco and cilantro.
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These homemade beef tacos are easy to make with this simple step recipe. There are a variety of ways to make this birria tacos recipe including stovetop, oven, and Instant Pot. Keep reading for how to make these three versions. Any way you make these tacos, they're a great dish to make for Cinco de Mayo.

Ingredients in Birria Tacos

  • 2 pounds boneless chuck
  • 1 pound oxtail or short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 7 guajillo chiles, trimmed and seeds removed
  • 5 chile de arbol chilies, trimmed and seeds removed
  • 1 white onion (peeled and halved)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • lime juice
  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 ounces Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Raw ingredients for Birria Tacos in a red Dutch oven.

How to Make Birria Tacos in the Oven

If you want to know how to make these birria tacos (or quesabirria!) on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot, keep scrolling below the oven recipes.

Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 300ºF

Sear the cuts of beef. Heat oil in Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.

Season all sides of the meat with salt, and sear all sides of the chuck roast and short ribs, working in batches.

Add the vegetables, peppers, and spices. Once all sides are seared, add 3 cups of beef broth to the Dutch oven, deglazing the pot. Add the halved onion, tomatoes, garlic cloves, trimmed peppers, and spices (pepper, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin) to the pot. Submerge all ingredients into the broth.

Add the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves to the top and bring to a boil.

A plate of birria tacos with a bowl of dipping broth a side of freshly cut limes.

Simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat to low.

Make the sauce. Once the 10 minutes are up, transfer the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and peppers to a food processor.

Scoop out 1 cup of the broth and add to the vegetables as well as the apple cider vinegar and orange juice.

Discard the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Blend the sauce until smooth.

Tip: Marinating the beef in the sauce for at least 24 hours will increase this dish's flavor.

Braise the beef. Pour the sauce over the meat and turn the heat up until it begins to simmer.

Place the Dutch oven lid onto the pot and place it in the oven.

Allow the meat to braise for 3 to 3 ½ hours. The meat should fall off the bone and easily shred with two forks.

Remove the meat from the sauce and shred. Discard any bones. Save broth for making tacos and serving.

Birria meat shredded and topped with cilantro with a plate for tacos next to it.

How to Make Quesabirria Tacos

Heat a skillet. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the tortillas.

Dip the tortillas in broth. Dip each side of a corn tortilla into the top of the broth from the pot.

Fry and fill the tortillas. Allow the corn tortilla to fry for about 30 seconds, flip, and the shredded birria meat to one side of the tortilla. To make quesabirria tacos, add the Monterey Jack and Queso Fresco cheese.

Flip. Fold the tortilla over onto the meat, flip, and pan-fry for another 30 seconds.

Make the rest of the birria tacos. Repeat the steps until the desired amount of tacos are made.

Serve. Serve these birria tacos with a side of broth from the pot and with extra cheese, cilantro, and onion if desired.

A hand holding a crispy birria taco with cheese above a plate of corn tortilla tacos.

RELATED: Instant Pot Chicken Al Pastor

TIPS for making birria tacos:

  • Oxtails can be substituted for short ribs.
  • Marinate for at least 24 hours to lock in flavor.
  • Maximize the flavor of these tacos by spritzing lime juice on them when serving.

How to Make Birria Tacos on the Stovetop

Making birria tacos on the stovetop is very similar to making them in the oven. For the stovetop method, the beef cooks completely on the stove so no transferring it to the oven is required.

TIP: Avoid boiling the beef on the stovetop as it can make the beef tough. Simmering over low heat will create tender, fall-off-the-bone beef.

Following the recipe up until it states to place the Dutch oven in the oven to braise. Instead, cover the Dutch oven and simmer for about 3 hours. With this method, you will want to occasionally stir the pot.

A birdseye view of a plate of crispy birria tacos with a bowl of dipping broth.

How to Make Birria Tacos in the Instant Pot

When making pressure-cooked birria tacos, the steps will be a bit different from the stovetop version.

Add the oil to the inner liner of the Instant Pot and season all sides of beef with salt and sear in batches. Sear the meat in batches by removing the seared cuts of beef and setting them aside.

Add the 3 cups of broth to the inner liner and deglaze the liner by scraping off any stuck on bits from the bottom. Add the beef back to the liner and add the halved tomatoes and onion, garlic, and prepared peppers. Add the spices, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves to the pot as well.

Saute for 10 minutes before pressing cancel and discarding the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Remove the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and peppers and transfer them to a food processor.

Make the sauce according to the recipe and pour the sauce over the top of the beef in the Instant Pot.

Pressure cook on HIGH/MANUAL PRESSURE for 60 minutes and allow for a 10-minute natural release before removing the lid and continuing the recipe.

Making the Instant Pot Birria Tacos version is my favorite way to make this incredibly flavorful dish quickly and easily. These Instant Pot Tamales are another easy recipe to make using the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.

A birria taco dipped in a bowl of broth with a side of fresh limes.

RELATED: Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

More Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Here are more tasty and fun recipes for Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Birria Tacos (Quesabirria)

Quesabirria (birria) tacos topped with queso fresco and cilantro.

Birria tacos are a delicious type of Mexican food that originated in the state of Jalisco. These tacos are made with tender braised beef, and a variety of peppers and spices. Corn tortillas are dipped in the broth, filled with shredded beef and cheese, and fried until the corn tortillas are crispy.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless chuck
  • 1 pound short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Sauce

  • 7 guajillo chiles, trimmed and seeds removed
  • 5 chile de arbol chilies, trimmed and seeds removed
  • 1 white onion (peeled and halved)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup orange juice

Quesabirria tacos

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • lime juice
  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 ounces Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded

Instructions

Make the birria

  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF
  2. Heat oil in Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Season all sides of the meat with salt, and sear all sides of the chuck roast and short ribs, working in batches.
  4. Once all sides are seared, add 3 cups of beef broth to the Dutch Oven, deglazing the pot.
  5. Add the halved onion, tomatoes, garlic cloves, trimmed peppers, and spices (pepper, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin) to the pot. Submerge all ingredients into the broth.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves to the top and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.


Make the birria sauce

  1. Once the 10 minutes is up, turn the heat to low and transfer the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and peppers to a food processor.
  2. Scoop out 1 cup of the broth and add to the vegetables as well as the apple cider vinegar and orange juice.
  3. Discard the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves.
  4. Blend sauce until smooth.

    Braise the birria

    1. Pour the sauce over the meat and turn the heat up until it simmers.
    2. Place the Dutch Oven lid onto the pot and place it in the oven.
    3. Allow the meat to braise for 3 to 3 ½ hours. The meat should fall off the bone and easily shred with two forks.
    4. Remove the meat from the sauce and shred. Discard any bones.

      Make Birria (quesobirria) tacos

    1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and dip a corn tortilla into the top of the broth from the pot.
    2. Allow the corn tortilla to fry for about 30 seconds, flip, and the shredded birria meat to one side of the tortilla. If adding cheese, add it at this time.
    3. Fold the tortilla over onto the meat, flip, and pan-fry for another 30 seconds.
    4. Repeat the steps until the desired amount of tacos are made.
    5. Serve with a side of the broth from the remaining broth in the pot.
    6. Serve with cheese, cilantro, and onion if desired.

    Notes

    Instant Pot Birria Tacos Instructions

    Set Instant Pot to saute and add oil. Sear all sides of beef in batches. Add broth to the liner and deglaze the pot. Add the vegetables, peppers, and spices as the recipe directs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove everything but the beef by following the recipe and then after making the sauce, pour it over the beef. Pressure cook on HIGH/PRESSURE COOK for 60 minutes following a 10-minute natural release. Proceed with the recipe as written.

    Stovetop Birria Tacos Instructions

    Follow the recipe as written up until it states to place the Dutch oven in the oven to braise. Instead, cover the Dutch oven and simmer for about 3 hours. With this method, you will want to occasionally stir the pot.

    TIP: Avoid boiling the beef on the stovetop as it can make the beef tough. Simmering over low heat will create tender, fall-off-the-bone beef.

    TIPS for making birria tacos:

    Oxtails can be substituted for short ribs.

    Marinate for at least 24 hours to lock in flavor.

    Maximize the flavor of these tacos by spritzing lime juice on them when serving.

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 1138mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 48g

    Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    amy liu dong

    Sunday 30th of April 2023

    I am a fan of eating tacos, I made this and it was so easy and really delicious!

    Jamie

    Sunday 30th of April 2023

    Wow! Another Tacos dish that everyone will surely love and enjoy! This Birria taco looks amazingly delicious and very appealing! A perfect treat for any get-together.

    Ann

    Sunday 30th of April 2023

    I have never tried a taco like this before. This sounds like a great one to try for our next Taco Tuesday night!

    Luke

    Sunday 30th of April 2023

    I enjoyed every bite of this delicious recipe. The beef was so tender and delicious, mixed with the aromatic peppers and spices. A rich and mouthwatering taste that I can't wait to make again!

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