These Beef Birria Tacos live up to the hype! From Jalisco, Mexico, these have become famous in the United States thanks to food truck fame. These tacos are nicknamed “Birria Quesatacos,” because of their similarity to both tacos and quesadillas. The Birria de Res (stewed beef) is a juicy, flavorful shredded beef, and takes a couple of hours to bake, so this is a great special occasion or meal prep recipe!
What are Birria Tacos?
I love to check Google Trends to see what recipes people really want to see. In 2021, Birria Tacos were one of the top recipe searches, and I had never heard of them!
After making these the first time, I completely understood why nearly a milion people a month search for this Birria Taco recipe. From the juicy, tender beef, to the spicy, complex chile sauce, and the stringy, melty cheese, these are absolutely irresitible.
I would go so far to say that if you love Mexican food, these are a MUST MAKE.
Since coming across this recipe, I’ve made it with a variety of meats, and have some great tips on how to choose the best beef for Birria de Res.
These delicious tacos have been made for centuries in Jalisco, Mexico, traditionally with goat. The meat is stewed in a blend of chiles, and spices such as oregano, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves. After the beef is shredded, it’s served in a tortilla that’s fried in the fat from the stew.
The tacos are simply garnished with cilantro and onion, and served with the reserved chile sauce.
Adding a cheesy layer of Queso Oaxaca takes these over the top!
Another uber popular taco? Chicken Tinga (this version is made in the Instant Pot)!
What You’ll Need:
- Birria de Res (check out this post on how to make the shredded beef for these! Reserve the chile sauce for serving the tacos.)
- Corn Tortillas
- Queso Oaxaca (this tastes like jack cheese, but has the texture of mozzarella, so if you can’t find queso Oaxaca, use either as a substitute.
How to Make Birria Tacos
The first step is to make your Birria de Res. This is a simple process of stewing the onions, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, and spices, and blending it into a smooth chile sauce. Then you brown your chunks of stew meat, and add it to a dutch oven along with the sauce.
The beef simmers in the sauce in the oven for about 3 hours, resulting in tender, fall-apart meat, seasoned with the sweet, tangy, salty and spicy sauce.
This process is not difficult, so don’t let the cooking time scare you off! Most of the time it takes to make these is hands-off.
The result is pure taco-magic!
Once you have your Beef Birria de Res prepared, continue by:
Step 1: Dip the tortillas in the chile sauce. For the most authentic tacos, coat the tortillas only in the layer of fat that is left on top of the sauce after removing the beef from the pot. I dip mostly just 1 side of the tortillas (the side that’s filled with beef and cheese), to keep them from getting too soggy and falling apart. If they do fall apart – no worries! Eat them with a fork similar to enchiladas.
Step 2: Add the tortillas to a skillet that is generously greased and hot. Adding them to a hot, oiled skillet will crisp up the outsides without steaming them and making them soggy. Add in some of the shredded Beef Birria de Res, and a sprinkle of Queso Oaxaca.
Step 3: Fry both sides of the tacos until the tortillas are crisp, and the cheese is melted inside.
Step 4: Serve the tacos garnished with chopped onions and cilantro, with the reserved chile sauce on the side!
How to Serve this Birria Tacos Recipe
Birria Tacos are a street taco, so are served simply with chopped onions and cilantro. The Birria sauce is reserved from the stewed beef, and makes a wonderful dipping sauce.
No salsa required for these special tacos! Very little is needed because the Birria itself is so full of wonderful aromatic flavors.
If you’d like to turn these tacos into a special dinner, serve these with:
Beef Birria Tacos
- Dutch Oven
- Birria de Res *(about 1/2 of the recipe for 12 tacos), with reserved chile sauce
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup Queso Oaxaca sub jack or mozzarella cheese
- cilantro to garnish
- white onion minced, to garnish
- Heat a skillet with avocado oil over medium high heat. Adding the tortillas into an already hot skillet helps them crisp up without getting soggy.
- Dip each tortilla in the reserved Birria de Res sauce. Don't over saturate the tortillas.
- Add the dipped tortillas to the hot skillet, and add about 1/4 cup of the shredded beef and 1-2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Fry the tortillas until both sides of the tacos are crispy and the cheese is fully melted.
- Serve tacos with the reserved sauce, along with garnishes of onion and cilantro.