Beef Birria

Homemade Beef Birria Recipe

10 hrs 10 mins
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Recipe Ingredients Video Nutrition
8 / 10
Health score
Dairy FreeEgg free dishGluten free dishLow Carb DishNut Free DishPaleo Dish

If you have ever tried Beef Birria, then you know how amazing it is! This Mexican dish has a rich and complex broth with tender shredded beef that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. You can either eat it as a stew or use the meat and broth to make Birria Tacos, quesadillas or burritos.

Delicious Beef Birria Recipe

I can understand why some people may feel embarrassed about how excited they get when sharing recipes. However, I believe that it’s justifiable in this case. When you spend hours testing and perfecting a recipe, it’s only natural to feel proud of the end result. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about sharing my Beef Birria recipe (birria de res) – it’s one of my favorites, and I’m confident that it will be a hit with anyone who tries it.

I’ve had the privilege of trying this dish at some of the best restaurants and food trucks in Arizona and California, and I can confidently say that my recipe is just as good. What makes this dish stand out is its rich and complex flavor profile. The combination of tender beef, aromatic spices, and a savory broth creates a truly mouthwatering experience.

And the best part about this recipe is that it’s super easy to make! You don’t need any fancy equipment or exotic ingredients to recreate this dish at home. All you need is a few simple ingredients, some patience, and a love for good food. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll understand why I get so excited about sharing it with others.

Why I love this recipe:

  1. Flavorful – The stew contains fresh ingredients, seasonings, and three types of chile peppers, resulting in a flavorful consomé broth.
  2. Versatile – You can either serve it as a stew or use it to make Birria Tacos!
  3. Freezer Friendly – Make the most of your efforts and freeze the leftovers for another meal or tacos.

Beef Birria recipe

How To Make Beef Birria?

  1. Cut the beef chuck in half, and then cut each half into 3 to 4-inch pieces. Cut each short rib down the center to the bone.
  2. Add chuck and ribs to soup pot; season with kosher salt, oregano, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Toss thoroughly until the meat is evenly coated with the spices, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Prepare guajillo chiles by cutting off stems with scissors. Slice open and scrape or shake out seeds onto a plate and discard.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the guajillo chiles and toss in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and purée as smooth as possible using an immersion blender or countertop blender, working in batches as needed.
  6. Remove the pot of meat from the refrigerator. Using a large mesh strainer, strain the puréed chili mixture into the pot. Add the chicken broth, vinegar, bay leaves, and honey to the pot.
  7. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling apart and tender, 3 to 4 hours. For future birria queso tacos, skim the fat from the top.
  8. For serving, place some pieces of beef in the soup bowl and add some of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle with white onion and cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over the top.

Beef Birria Ingredients

  • Beef chuck and beef ribs: These are the cuts of beef that provide the hearty and meaty base for the birria.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the taste of the beef and other ingredients, bringing out their natural aromas.
  • Dried Mexican Oregano: Adds a distinct and aromatic flavor to the birria that is characteristic of Mexican cuisine.
  • Black Pepper: Provides subtle heat and depth of taste to the dish.
  • Ground Cumin: Adds an earthy, warm note that complements the beef and seasonings.
  • Ground Cinnamon and Cloves: Adds complexity to the birria with warm, spicy flavors.
  • Dried Guajillo chiles: Add a deep, smoky flavor and mild heat to the dish.
  • Olive Oil: Adds richness and flavor to the birria and is used to cook the onions, garlic, and beef.
  • Onion and garlic: Essential aromatic ingredients that make up the flavorful base of the birria.
  • Fresh Ginger: Adds a bright, slightly spicy flavor that enhances the overall flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Provide acidity and sweetness to balance the richness of the beef and spices.
  • Water and Chicken Stock: Create a flavorful braising liquid that tenderizes and infuses beef.
  • White Vinegar: Balances the richness of the beef and adds tang and acidity to the birria.
  • Bay Leaves: Give your dish a hint of herbs.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness to balance taste and cut heat from seasonings.
  • White Onion and Fresh Coriander: Used to garnish and add freshness and texture to the finished dish.
  • Lime: Served as a garnish or squeezed over the birria before serving to add brightness and acidity to each bite.

homemade Beef Birria step by step recipe

Birria vs Barbacoa:

Barbacoa is a dish that has its origins in Central Mexico. Traditionally, it is cooked in the ground in a hole for several hours. Birria, on the other hand, originates from Jalisco, Mexico. It is a saucier version of the dish that is submerged in a sauce for the cooking duration. However, you can still prepare a delicious version of this dish at home with a shorter cooking time and fewer steps.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

  1. To Make Ahead: This recipe is perfect for making in advance and reheating for later use. I typically make birria beef a day ahead and use the leftovers to make tacos or quesabirria.
  2. To Freeze: The cooked beef and sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

the best Beef Birria recipe

Recipe Variations:

  • Meat: Typical birria is traditionally made with goat or lamb meat, rather than beef. It’s important to use bone-in meat as it adds rich flavor to the broth.
  • Chile Peppers and Spice Level: The Guajillo and Pasilla peppers are considered mild. While Guajillo chiles are necessary for this recipe, if you can’t find Pasilla chiles, you can try substituting Mulato chiles. Alternatively, you can use 1-2 extra Guajillo chiles and leave out the Pasilla chiles. Arbol chiles are the hottest of the three varieties. For a medium level of spice, remove the seeds. If you prefer very mild heat, it’s best to omit the Arbol chiles altogether.
  • Cinnamon Stick: Mexican cinnamon sticks are softer than cassia cinnamon sticks commonly used in the US. For this recipe, use a small piece of Mexican cinnamon sticks to blend well. Otherwise, substitute ground cinnamon.
  • Slow Cooker: Prepare the recipe up to step 5. Add broth and meat to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until the meat is tender.
  • Instant Pot: I prefer making Beef Birria on the stove, but here’s an Instant Pot recipe if you’re interested.

How to Serve Birria?

The birria is served in a bowl with a good amount of tender meat and a ladle or two of the consomé It’s simply garnished with the classic combination of cilantro and finely chopped white onion. For extra heat, add a small pinch of crushed dried chiles de arbol. 

Like most Mexican dishes, birria is served with limes – a good squeeze of lime in the spicy broth is a match made in Mexican heaven – and corn tortillas or tostadas. The latter are the better choice because they are more sturdy and can hold the meat and the consomé. To cool down the spice, drink a very cold beer.

This is a wonderful main course recipe for lunch that is suitable for any non-vegetarian dietary system and can be used for various weight-related goals. Beef is rich in protein, essential for muscle growth and development, slowing down the aging process, and maintaining metabolism at an optimal level. It is also a great source of iron, which plays a crucial role in blood formation and oxygen supply to the body (in this case, iron is effectively complemented by vitamin C, making it much better absorbed by the body, so anemia is not a concern). Additionally, beef contains B vitamins (such as B12), which are essential not only for overall metabolism but also for the nervous system, so after this dish, you will surely feel satisfied and calm. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend consuming red meat more than three times a week, so don't overdo it. An ideal option is to pair the meat with a light vegetable side dish if you are trying to lose weight or with starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes) if your goal is to maintain or gain weight.

Nutrition Editor
Health score:
8 / 10
Homemade Beef Birria Recipe
If you've never tried Beef Birria, you're missing out on a delicious Mexican dish. Its rich and complex broth complements the tender shredded beef perfectly, making it a delight for your taste buds. You can enjoy it as a stew or use the meat and broth to make Birria Tacos, quesadillas or burritos.
Beef Birria
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 40 mins
Additional Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
10 hrs 10 mins
The ingredients you need
1 (2 1/2 pound) beef chuck
3 (8 ounce) beef short ribs
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
7 dried guajillo chilies
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
¼ cup white vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons finely diced white onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium lime, sliced
Let’s start !

Cut the beef chuck in half and each half in pieces of 3-4 inches. Cut the beef short rib through the middle, down to the bone.


To prepare a delicious beef soup, place beef chuck and short ribs into a soup pot. Season them with kosher salt, oregano, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Toss everything thoroughly until the meat is evenly coated with spices, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the pot and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to overnight. This will allow the meat to marinate and absorb all the flavors.


Remove the stems from the guajillo chiles, slice them open, and shake out the seeds onto a plate.


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add guajillo chiles and toss them in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Then, add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and toss everything to combine. Add the tomatoes and water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.


After turning off the heat, purée the mixture using an immersion blender until it’s as smooth as possible. Alternatively, use a countertop blender, working in batches if needed. After turning off the heat, purée the mixture using an immersion blender until it’s as smooth as possible.


Remove the meat soup pot from the refrigerator. Strain the pureed chili mixture into the pot using a large mesh strainer. Add chicken broth, vinegar, bay leaves, and honey to the pot.


Bring meat to a boil, then simmer on medium-low until tender, around 3-4 hours. Skim fat off and reserve for future birria queso tacos.


To serve, place beef chunks in a bowl and pour cooking liquid on top. Add white onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 10 Calories: 375
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g36%
Saturated Fat 11g54%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 1287mg56%
Total Carbohydrate 8g3%
Dietary Fiber 2g5%
Total Sugars 5g 
Protein 21g 
Vitamin C 11mg55%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 3mg16%
Potassium 368mg8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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