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birria des res top down view garnished with onions and cilantro. tortillas on the side ready for filling

📋 Birria Taco Recipe

Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Comfort Food, Holiday
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 16 tacos
Calories: 560kcal
Author: Marilyn
Beef tacos take on a whole new level of deliciousness when cuts of beef get a long simmering bath in flavorful adobo sauce.
Print Recipe


Adobo Sauce


  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional
  • 4 cups no salt added chicken broth


  • Vegetable oil
  • 16 corn tortillas see Tip
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes cut into wedges


Adobo Sauce

  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add guajillo and ancho chiles to the skillet; cook, stirring continuously, 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over high heat, add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Transfer the chilies to the water and remove from the heat. Let stand 7 minutes or until the chiles are softened.
  • Drain chiles and discard water. Hold the tip of the chiles and snip off the stem. Scrap out the seeds. Discard seeds and stem. Add chiles to a blender. Set aside.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe the large skillet dry. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and garlic are lightly browned. Add peppercorns, oregano and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, 9 minutes or until the flavors are melded. Let cool slightly.
  • Transfer mixture to the blender with the chiles. Add the cumin, apple cider vinegar and 2 cups cold water. Blend about 1 minute or until smooth. Strain mixture, reserving the sauce.
  • Arrange chuck roast and short ribs in a large nonreactive casserole dish. Season all over with the salt. Pour adobo sauce over the meat and turn to coat with the sauce. Cover tightly and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.


  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Transfer adobo and beef mixture to a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick (if using) and chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until simmering, Cover and bake 4 hours or until meat is tender. Check stew after 2 hours, adding more water as needed. Discard cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
  • Transfer chuck roast and short ribs to a work surface. Using 2 forks, shred beef and return to sauce. Simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Discard bones and excess fat.


  • In a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, coat bottom surface lightly with oil.
  • Using tongs, dip 1 tortilla in broth and add to the skillet. Repeat with 1 to 2 more tortillas or as many tortillas will fit without overlapping. Add about ¼ cup meat on one-half of each tortilla. Cook, 1 to 2 minutes or until tacos are lightly browned and crisp. Fold tortillas in half and gently press together with a spatula. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining tacos and filling. (see Tip)
  • Sprinkle tacos with onions and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Ladle adobo broth into serving bowls for dipping.



Replace the beef short ribs with 1 additional pound of chuck roast.
The Adobo Sauce can be cooled to room temperature and then covered and refrigerated up to 2 days. Continue with remaining steps when ready.
Make the Birria through step 9. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the congealed fat from the Birria and discard. Reheat and continue with step 10 or serve as a soup.
Birria Soup or Stew: Omit the steps for assembling the tacos. You may want to add more water or broth to the stew before serving. To serve, ladle stew into bowls and top with chopped onion, chopped cilantro, sour cream and lime wedges.
Birria Tacos with Cheese: Sprinkle a Mexican melting cheese such as queso Oaxaca or queso asadero on the tacos before topping with the beef birria.
Omit dipping the tortillas in the adobo sauce in step 11. Simply heat the tortillas in the skillet for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter and top with ¼ cup beef birria and cheese (if using). Continue with step 12.
Corn versus Flour Tortillas. Use corn tortillas if you are planning to dip them in the adobo and fry them. Corn tortillas hold their shape better than flour. If you are not dipping them, you can use either flour or corn tortillas.


Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 2042mg | Potassium: 1327mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3229IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 7mg