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Platter of birria tacos with cilantro, lime and bowl of consomme.
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5 from 12 votes

Birria Tacos

A traditional Mexican taco recipe, Birria Tacos (or Quesatacos) are made with tender beef, a rich adobo sauce, and earthy corn tortillas! Once pan-fried to crisp perfection, these tacos are repeatedly dipped into broth for a flavorful, texturally exciting experience!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 476kcal


For the Chili Paste

  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp whole oregano
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

For the Meat and Dipping Sauce (Consomme)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/2 lbs beef or lamb chopped in chucks, see notes below
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 32 oz beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups water

For QuesoTaco Assembly

  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Shredded oaxaca or monterey jack cheese


For the Chili Paste

  • Start by removing stems and seeds from all of the dried ancho and guajillo chiles.
  • Add about 2 cups of water to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Add chiles to a large pot then cover and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • When peppers are done, add them to a heavy duty blender or food processor along with all of the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and thick.

For the Meat

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Season the meat with salt and light pepper and then add to hot pot to sear. Remove the meat working in batches and set to the side on paper towels to drain. Remove pot from heat.
  • Next saute the onion until it gets some color (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Add the beef back to the pot along with the onion and pour paste over the top. Next add beef stock, bouillon cube and water to the pot and stir everything together.
  • Bring temperature down to medium heat and bring to a simmer then add to the oven and braise for about 2 ½ hours or until beef is incredibly tender and falling apart.
  • Remove meat from the broth and place on a cutting board.
  • Taking two forks, shred beef in the broth. Taste the broth and season to taste with salt then add beef back into broth.

For Taco Assembly

  • Remove 1 ½ cups of broth from the beef and add to a small bowl.  Add some cilantro and onion to the top of the dipping sauce and set aside.
  • Add a pan over medium heat with a bit of olive oil or butter.
  • Carefully dip a tortilla into the top part of the broth and place in the hot pan. Fry for a few seconds then flip over.
  • Top with meat, onion, cilantro and cheese allowing the cheese to melt and get nice and gooey then fold in half and remove from the pan. Repeat with all tortillas. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy the heck out of this!



  • Use beef shank cut, It's a budget-friendly option that cooks up perfectly tender to make succulent and juicy birria tacos.
  • Don't skimp on the chilies! For best flavor, use real Mexican dried chilies listed in the ingredient list!
  • Make plenty! You won't be able to eat just one or two! And you will love having leftovers!
  • Heat the tortillas before filling them! This makes them more pliable so they're less likely to break.
  • Use Mexican oregano for its hints of citrus that work so well with this recipe.


Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2457IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg