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How to Make the Best Birria Tacos Recipe

The newest fad recipe to take the internet by storm combines two classic Mexican dishes into one amazing dinner, Birria Tacos!

Birria tacos bring together spicy and savory Mexican beef stew with corn (or flour) tortilla shells to create a flavorful dinner you’re going to love. Speed up the cooking process with the help of your pressure cooker, then build this delicious birria taco recipe for dinner tonight.

Birria Tacos recipes - beef quesatacos

This amazing dinner idea starts with a hearty Mexican stew featuring fresh herbs and spices, tender beef, and three different types of chiles. After trying several versions, I found this recipe by Ubish on The Spruce Eats, and this one has to my favorite version. It’s amazing, and trust me, no changes are needed!

Using the beef birria stew as a base, you can create a unique taco dish coated in a flavorful sauce that you can also use for dipping.

Yes, there’s a lengthy list of ingredients, but this taco recipe is absolutely worth it and simpler than it looks. This is a perfect taco night meal to share with friends and family.

Mexican beef stew - shredded beef filling

What You’ll Need to Make This Birria Tacos Recipe:

  • Dried guajillo chiles
  • Dried Morita chiles
  • Dried pasilla chiles
  • Whole bay leaves
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Cloves
  • Allspice berries
  • White vinegar
  • Cumin seeds
  • Avocado leaf
  • Oregano
  • Chuck beef, cut into four large pieces 
  • Kosher salt
  • Tomatoes
  • White or yellow onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Limes
  • Pico de Gallo, or this Radish Pico de Gallo
  • Oaxaca cheese or string cheese if making quesabirria tacos
adobo - consomme for tacos

How to Make Birria Tacos:

Step One:

  • Prepare the peppers for the adobo by heating a cast-iron pan or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. To prepare the chilis, cut off the dried, hardened stems and remove the seeds from the each of the chilies.
  • Roast the chilis for a couple of minutes on each side until toasted, be careful not to burn. 
  • Carefully remove from heat and place toasted chilis in a bowl, cover the peppers completely with hot water, then place a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl. Allow the chilis to soak for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Once softened, place chilis in a blender along with about a 1/2 cup of water. Blend into a puree.

Step Two:

  • Heat a cast iron pan or skillet medium heat again and add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice berries, cumin seeds, avocado leaf, and oregano.
  • Toast the herbs for around 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them, as they can quickly burn.

Step Three:

  • Place the meat in a large bowl. Mix the chili puree and toasted herbs together along with the vinegar, then pour over meat. Toss to coat the meat completely with the chili mixure
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Step Four:

  • After marinating, place the meat in a multi-cooker or Instant Pot with three cups of water and some salt.
  • Pressure cook the meat for about 1 1/2 hours. When the meat is tender, remove the it from the broth and shred or chop, set aside and reserve the broth.

Step Five:

  • To make the consommé, heat a cast-iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the pan and toast until they are well charred, turning as needed. That charred flavor is what will give your consomme a depth of flavor.
  • Place in blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Strain the mixture and add to the meat broth. Cook the sauce down for 15 – 20 minutes and check the seasoning.

Step Six:

  • When the adobo and consommé are ready, you can start building your birria tacos. Using tongs, dip each tortilla into the hot consommé and then fill with about three tablespoons of the meat.
  • Place in a dish and repeat with each tortilla. Serve with a small bowl of consommé for each person, along with chopped cilantro, limes, pico de gallo, or your favorite hot sauce or salsa..
stuffed beef tacos

Tips and Tricks

This flavorful recipe is a great way to bring the flavors of Mexico to your home kitchen. And once you try this recipe, you’re going to want to make it over and over again.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at making your birria tacos in no time.

  • Cook the meat on the stovetop if you don’t have a pressure cooker. There’s no need to skip this recipe if you don’t have an Instant Pot at home.
    • Instead of cooking the meat for your birria tacos in a pressure cooker, place it in a large pot on the stove.
    • Bring the pot to a simmer, then lower to medium-low heat and cover. Cook for three hours, until the meat is tender and cooked through.
  • If you like birria tacos and quesadillas, try quesabirria. Use your adobo and consommé to make a delicious variation on a quesadilla.
    • Melt a shredded stick of string cheese or Oaxaca cheese on a pan over medium heat. Dip a tortilla into the consommé and place it over the melted cheese.
    • Flip, with the cheese, and fill with beef. Fold the quesabirria and cook each side until crispy. Garnish as desired.
  • Marinate overnight for more flavor. While you can start cooking your meat after marinating your beef for a few hours, you’ll get the best flavor when you marinate for a longer period of time.
    • You can keep the meat in the marinade for up to 24 hours, so giving the ingredients more time to soak into the meat is a simple way to add to the overall flavor of your quesatacos.
Shredded birria tacos with pico de gallo

Other tasty recipes to try:

Make this Taco Recipe:

stuffed beef tacos

How to Make the Best Birria Tacos Recipe

Yield: 6 - 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes

Tender Mexican stew - birria recipe made using a pressure cooker (or stovetop), smoky and flavorful tacos! Perfect for a dinner party, over the weekend, the big game, and definitely ideal for sharing!


For the adobo:

  • 6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried Morita chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 avocado leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 - 5 pounds chuck beef, cut into several large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the consomme:

  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 medium white onion
  • 1 clove garlic

For serving:

  • 12 corn or flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, pulled to shred (optional)
  • Pico de gallo (tomatoes, onion, cilantro, pinch of salt, lime juice)
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Limes, quartered


Make the adobo:

  1. Cut off the stems from the chilis and remove the seeds and veins.
  2. On the stovetop, heat a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Roast the chilis for about 1 -2 minutes on each side until toasted, but not burned.
  4. Place the chiles in a large bowl and cover with hot water, place a plastic wrap or lid on the bowl and allow to soak for about 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. Place the soaked chilis in a blender along with about 1/2 cup of water, then blend until pureed.
  6. In cast iron pan or skillet, add the bay, cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries, cumin seeds, avocado leaf, and dried oregano and gently toast over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Remove from heat.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the chili puree, toasted spices, and herbs, plus the white wine vinegar, mix well. Place the cuts of meat in a large dish, pour over the adobo marinade chili mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator, marinating for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  8. Once marinated, place meat and marinade, in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot along with 3 cups of water and the salt. Set pressure cooker on low and the cooking time for 1 1/2 hours. (If using the stovetop method: Place the meat, marinade along with the 3 cups of water and salt in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring the pot to a gentle boil, reduce to low - medium-low, cover, and cooked for about 3 hours or until the meat easily pulls apart.
  9. Once the meat is ready, carefully remove it from the broth, and place it in a bowl. Reserving the broth. Shred the beef using a couple of forks, or chop well.
  10. To make the consomme, heat a cast-iron pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the whole tomatoes, quartered onion, and garlic clove. Toast until charred on all sides.
  11. Place into the blender and blend into a puree. Using a sieve, strain the puree. Place in a large pot along with the reserved meat broth. Stirring occasionally, cook the consomme for 15 - 20 minutes. Give it a taste and season if needed.

To build your basic birria tacos:

  1. To make your filled tacos, use tongs to dip each tortilla shell into the hot consomme. Fill with about 3 tablespoons of shredded beef. Place in a dish and repeat until each tortilla is filled. Top with a drizzle of the consomme and your favorite salsa or pico de gallo.
  2. Serve along with a bowl of the consomme for each person.
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

To make Quesabirria

  1. To make the quesabirria, start with dipping the tortilla in the consomme.
  2. In a skillet, spray with a light coating of cooking spray. Melt a small amount of shredded Oaxaca cheese, then place the consomme-coated tortilla on top of the melting cheese.
  3. Flip the tortilla so that the cheese is now on top (don't worry if it's messy), add the shredded beef and fold over in half, allow to cook for a couple of minutes, then carefully flip and cook each side until crispy.
  4. Garnish as above.


You can find avocado-dried leaves in specialty sections of grocery stores, markets, or on Amazon.

If you can't find avocado leaves, not to worry, you can completely skip it and still enjoy this amazing recipe.

Recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 924Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 309mgSodium: 921mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 107g

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