Beef Birria Taco Recipe

Have you had a Beef Birria Taco? They became such a rage in the Bay Area food scene during lockdown. I decided not to wait in an hour+ long line at the local taco shop (they get enough of my business on a regular basis, don’t worry! We love tacos in the Pulley house) and instead find a recipe and make it myself.

I tried a few different recipes, all equally delicious and this is now my go-to beef taco recipe, it does take time so be prepared to cook this delicious beef stew for a few hours.

Simple Ingredients Make This Beef Birria Taco Recipe a Go-to in our house! 


Dried Pasilla Chiles


Cups of the broth of your choice (preferably beef or chicken) boiled.


Pounds of short rib (boneless is great too, I’ve also used boneless beef chuck and it worked great too – don’t let not having the exact cut of beef stop you from making this delicious Birria recipe.)


Yellow onion 


Cloves of garlic (or more if you are like me and LOVE garlic)


Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


Tablespoon Oregano


Tablespoons coriander


Can of crushed tomatoes or fresh if you have them on hand!


Teaspoon of coriander


Can of Chipotles in adobe sauce (use less if you like things less spicy – also ok to omit) 

Six+ of your favorite tortillas (we like corn)

Taco Toppings: Diced red onion, cilantro, Cotija

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 (OR if you are like me and take a lifetime to prep because you are easily distracted and are listening to your favorite podcast in the background. PREP first then pre-heat, or pre-heat halfway through your prep.)
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies very careful to wash your hands before touching anything else (especially your face – learn from me and do not rub your eyes during this process.)
  3. Put the chilies a blender and add the boiling broth, cover and let it sit for a while.  This is usually when I turn on my oven.
  4. Chop up your white onion.
  5. Season your beef with salt and pepper to toast
  6. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron pot that is oven friendly until your oil starts to shine.
  7. Sear your beef (in batches if you need to – avoid over crowding your meat for the best sear) a few minutes on each side until nice and brown and remove from the heat.
  8. Add a tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and add chopped white onions. Saute until they are soft, about 8 minutes.

9. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pan and scrape up all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan. Wait until the apple cider vinegar is reduced to half.

10. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds 

11. Add the beef back into the pot.

12. Add all the dry spices to the softening chilies in the blender plus the chipotles in Adobe sauce and can of crushed tomatoes and blend until smooth.

13. Pour the blended deliciousness over the beef in the pot until covered. If there was not enough sauce then add more broth.

14. Cover and put in the over to cook until it is tender enough to shred with a fork.

15. Remove from the oven, take most of the beef out and shred on a cutting board. Put aside and tent to keep warm.

16. Add the cooking liquid with some of the remaining beef to your stove top and heat it on warm.

17. Dip a tortilla in some of the cooking liquid and place on a hot non stick pan. until it starts to brown.

18. Add some of the Beef Birria  and onions and fold. We like ours extra crispy so I flip once or twice for our perfect crispy shells. 

19. Remove from the pan open up and add cheese and chopped red onions.

20. THE BEST PART: Serve a side of the cooking sauce/stew on the side in a brown with chopped up cilantro and diced red onions. 

21. Dip your taco in the Birria stew and enjoy. 

TIP: I like my food warm when it’s time to eat so I will put the tacos in the oven (that was turned off but still warm from cooking the beef for a few hours) so that I can make all the tacos and serve at once and they will be warm!



Use leftovers to make Beef Birria Nachos!

Don’t let any of this delicious beef birria beef to to waste, make nachos or quesidilla with the leftover meat.

Follow me @Fahhleesha to see more of my easy to cook recipes

Check out my easy Chicken Pot Pie for a weeknight meal everyone will love.

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