Birria de Res & Birria Tacos

Birria de Res & Birria Tacos



For the Birria de Res

  • 3 to 4 pounds chuck roast cut in 1 1/2 to 2″ cubes, excess fat and sinew removed
  • 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper (recommend 1 1/2 teaspoons salt & 1 teaspoon pepper)
  • 1” piece of cinnamon, broken
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 6 guajillo chiles
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled and root &  stem end removed
  • 2 large or 4 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 to 8 Chile de Arbol
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the tacos:

  • corn or flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese, Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack or another good melting cheese
  • lime
  • garnishes: lettuce or cabbage, red or white onion or pickled onions, cilantro, thinly sliced radishes



When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Marinate the beef: Add beef to cooking pot, drizzle with vinegar and add a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Add the cinnamon, cloves and allspice to blender and pulse to break down.

Place the onion, tomatoes, and garlic on a foil-lined sheet pan and place under broiler. Broil, turning as necessary, and remove items when softened and slightly charred.

In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Ancho and Guajillo chiles and toast, turning often, until fragrant and beginning to puff. (Some older chiles may not puff but will become more pliable. Place in a bowl, cover with 2 cups of very hot water and add weight to submerge them. Leave for 15 minutes then add to the blender along with the soaking water and blend, pulsing as necessary, to create a homogenous mixture.

Add the charred vegetables, the Chile de Arbol and the remaining spices and herbs (oregano, marjoram, ginger, salt & pepper) and blend again.

Pour mixture over beef, adding enough water to reach the top but not cover the beef. Cover tightly. Place in preheated oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat holds together but shreds easily. If at any point, the level of the liquid drops low, add a little additional water. If, when finished, the sauce isn’t a pourable consistency, add a little water.

Serve in tacos with some of the juice as a dipping sauce.

To prepare tacos:

Dip one side of tortilla in the juices on the top of the stew and add, coated side down to a griddle set to medium-low heat. Add the cheese (be generous) across the top. Add beef (shredded or in chunks) in a line just off-center. Once the taco begins to brown on the bottom, use a spatula to flip the half without beef over the top of the beef, forming a taco. Continue to cook slowly until the bottom half is crispy and browned, then turn over and cook the other side.

Serve warm with some of the juices from the Birria as a dipping sauce, along with your favorite garnishes.


The number of servings is a guestimate & dependent on how you serve (as a main dish stew or a taco) and how much you serve.

Keywords: Beef, brisket, Cheese, Chuck Roast, Hot Peppers, Lime, Mexican or Southwestern, Monterey Jack, tortillas

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