Go Back
+ servings
Beef birria tacos on a white platter
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.73 from 91 votes

Birria Tacos Recipe

My Birria Tacos recipe has all the flavors you're looking for in birria: they're earthy and mildly spicy, with fall-apart tender chuck roast beef and Mexican cheese! Of all the birria tacos recipes, this is the best!
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time3 hours 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: birria recipe, birria taco recipe, birria tacos, birria tacos recipe
Servings: 12 to 15 tacos
Calories: 311kcal


  • Blender or food processor
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Medium pot
  • Skillet
  • Tongs


  • 2 to 2 ½ pounds boneless chuck roast cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1 medium onion halved
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ inch cinnamon stick up to 2-inch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 to 2 cups beef broth

For Tacos

  • 12-15 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup Mexican melting cheese such as oaxaca
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

See our Beef Temperature Chart for helpful tips on cooking any cut of beef!


  • Place a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. When hot, season beef with salt and pepper and add to pot. Sear on all sides. Add half of the onion to the pot and cook two minutes more. Remove dutch oven from heat and set aside while you make the sauce.
    2 to 2 ½ pounds boneless chuck roast, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 medium onion
    Birria beef in the dutch oven
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers.
    3 dried guajillo chiles, 2 dried ancho chiles
    Guajillo and ancho chiles on a surface with scissors and a bowl
  • In a medium pot, add the chiles, tomatoes, half onion, garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to cover all ingredients, about 4 to 5 cups. Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
    3 dried guajillo chiles, 2 dried ancho chiles, 2 roma tomatoes, 1 medium onion, 1 ½ inch cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves garlic
    birria stew ingredients in pot
  • Add remaining seasonings to the sauce pot: dried oregano, cumin seeds, dried thyme, and salt and peppercorns. Give it a stir and simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon salt
    Birria stew cooking in pot
  • Strain the contents of the sauce pot into a large wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and discard. Place remaining solids into a blender.
    Chiles, tomatoes, and onions in a blender
  • Add 2 cups of the broth from the sauce into the blender, plus 1 cup of beef broth. Whirl until well blended. Taste and add more salt if needed and blend just until mixed in.
    Birria beef stew base blended
  • Place the pot with the beef and onion back on the stove at medium heat. Pour the contents of the blender over the beef. If the sauce is not enough liquid to cover the beef, pour in enough beef broth to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and lower heat. Simmer until meat is tender and shreds easily, about 2½ to 3 hours.
    1 to 2 cups beef broth
    Birria beef stew in a dutch oven pot

Making the tacos

  • Turn off heat, remove beef from the sauce, and shred.
    Beef birria stew meat next to a dutch oven of the stew
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using tongs, dip a tortilla into the top of the stew (where the fat floats), then place in the hot skillet. Top with some shredded beef, cheese, and cilantro.
    12-15 corn tortillas
    Beef birria tacos in a skillet
  • Fold tortilla over and fry for about one minute on each side, until crispy. Remove taco to plate or baking sheet and keep warm. Repeat above steps with remaining tortillas.
    Two beef birria tacos folded over in skillet
  • Serve warm with a small bowl of the birria stew for dipping. Serve with lime wedges and sliced jalapenos if desired. Top tacos with diced onion, more cilantro and more cheese if desired.
    1 cup diced onion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, ½ cup Mexican melting cheese, 1 lime
    Beef birria tacos arranged on a white platter with a bowl of mexican beef stew



For more heat, try adding dried chiles de árbol when cooking the beef, or jalapenos after making the tacos.


Serving: 1taco | Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1913IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg