Homemade Beef Birria
Homemade Beef Birria

Birria is a heavenly combination of slow-cooked, tender beef and a deliciously flavorful broth. Serve as is or make birria tacos!

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, birria is a stew traditionally made with beef, goat, or lamb. I use beef for this recipe. Slowly cooked in a rich and flavorful broth—a deeply flavorful red broth made with dried Mexican chilies, herbs, spices, and flavors—the meat is tenderized and served shredded in the broth. It’s a stew built on layers of layers of flavor with smart techniques and little effort.

Pro tips for the best-tasting consomé

The beef cooks slowly and slowly in the highly aromatic broth. Therefore it is important that it tastes delicious. Here are some tips to get a flavorful broth:

  • I use a mix of dried chillies de arbol, guajillo, and ancho chilies. As opposed to using just one type of chili, the combination creates an earthy, flavorful, and deeply flavorful sauce.
  • It’s important to lightly toast the dried chilies before soaking them in hot water to rehydrate them. The toasting brings out the aromas and flavors of the chilies. Rehydrating them makes them easier to mix into a smooth sauce.
  • Lightly charred tomatoes, onions and garlic, all of which add flavor, are mixed into the broth. You want these veggies to be charred, so there’s no need to add oil to the pan.
  • Use chicken or beef broth instead of just water for more flavor.
  • Cumin, dried oregano, and bay leaves are the key flavors in birria—and in Mexican cuisine in general. This recipe calls for Mexican dried oregano, which has a stronger flavor and is pungent, earthy, and bitter than other types of dried oregano.

3 ways to cook the birria

  • Cook the birria on the stove: This is my favorite method of cooking Birria. Use a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan – both retain heat well and are great for slow and slow cooking. By cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces, it can be tenderized nicely in two hours.
  • Cook the birria in a slow cooker: This option is perfect if you want to set and forget the birria. Set the slow cooker to high heat. It takes about 6 hours.
  • Cook the birria in an Instant Pot: In a hurry? Use a pressure cooker or pressure cooker set on high pressure. The birria is ready within an hour.

Equally delicious and traditional substitutions

  • This recipe calls for beef feed, but goat shoulder, lamb shoulder or any type of pot roast can be used. You want to use a tough meat that will become tender when cooked low and slow, such as a beef jerky.
  • Swap the chiles de arbol for pequin chiles, guajillo for cascabel or anaheim chiles, and ancho for mulato or pasilla chiles. All are considered varieties of Mexican chilies.

Birria is served in bowls with a good portion of tender meat and a ladle or two of broth. It’s simply garnished with the classic combination of cilantro and finely chopped white onions. A small pinch of crushed dried Chilis de Arbol adds another layer of spiciness.

As with most Mexican dishes, birria is accompanied by lime– a good squeeze of lime in the tangy broth is a match made in heaven – and corn tortillas or tostadas. The latter are better as they are more stable and can hold the meat and broth. A very cold beer will help cool the spice down.

Then when you have leftover birria, make birria tacos.

Lower and slower Mexican cooking

  • Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)
  • Cochinita Pibil
  • Beef Tacos de Lengua (tacos with beef tongue)
  • Salsa Verde Carnitas

Homemade Beef Birria

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
2 hrs 30 mins

total time
3 hours

up to 6 servings


  • 10 dried Chilis de Arbol (10g), stems and seeds removed and discarded, divided

  • 6 dried guajillo chilies (30g), stems and seeds removed and discarded

  • 2 dried ancho chilies (25g), stems and seeds removed and discarded

  • 5 very ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), halved

  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds ground beef, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • 1 cup of water

  • Finely chopped white onion for garnish

  • Finely chopped fresh coriander for garnish

  • Lime wedges for garnish


  1. Toast and rehydrate the chilies:

    Bring a kettle or small saucepan with 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat.

    Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 chillies de arbol and all the guajillo and ancho chilies and roast for 1 to 2 minutes. The remaining 4 chiles de arbol are used to garnish the birria. The chilies are ready when you can smell them.

    Place the roasted chilies in a medium bowl and cover with the boiled water. Soak for 20 minutes until nicely soft.

  2. Char the vegetables:

    Heat the same pan you used to roast the chiles over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, onion and garlic. You don’t need to add oil. Lightly char all over, stirring occasionally. This takes 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Mix the red chili sauce:

    Transfer the rehydrated chilies and soaking water, charred vegetables, cumin, oregano, peppercorns, salt, and vinegar to a blender. Blend until you get a bright red, smooth sauce. This is the flavor base for your broth.

  4. Make the birria:

    In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the olive oil and heat over high heat. Carefully add the red chili sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

    Stir in the beef, bay leaves, beef broth, and water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 2 hours.

  5. Prepare the side dishes:

    They have three small bowls of garnishes: One with the finely chopped onion and the cilantro mixed in. Use your hands to roughly crumble the remaining 4 chiles de arbol into a separate small bowl. And the last bowl contains the lime wedges.

  6. Shred the beef:

    Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, place the meat in a large bowl. Using two forks, shred the meat and return to the pot. Taste your birria and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if needed.

  7. Surcharge:

    Serve warm in a bowl, garnished with onions and cilantro, crushed chillies de arbol and a good squeeze of lime. Enjoy and turn leftovers into birria tacos!

    Chill leftovers in a covered container for 1 week and in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in a saucepan on the stove with a dash of beef broth or water.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!