Birria Tacos

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

You won't regret making these

Birria Tacos

October 20, 20202

Yield: Many

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time: Plan on all day




2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1" inch pieces, trimmed of fat

5 dried ancho chiles

5 dried guajillo chiles

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp whole black peppercorns

4 allspice berries

2 cloves, whole

6 bay leaves

1 tbsp Mexican oregano


1/4 cup avocado or peanut oil

1 large onion, diced

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

8 cups water


For the actual tacos:


Corn tortillas

1 lb. Oaxaca cheese, shredded

Pickled red onion (or just diced)

Thinly sliced radish (optional)

Fresh cilantro


Wearing Gloves (you have been warned)  Remove the seeds and stems and set chiles and place into a heat-proof bowl.  Cover with very warm (not boiling) and soak until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.


In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the cinnamon stick, coriander, black pepper, allspice, and cloves until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted spices, bay leaves, and oregano to a spice grinder or high-powered blender and grind into a fine powder.


Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).


In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid, heat ¼ cup canola oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, sear the seasoned meat on all sides until golden brown, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pot, about 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.


If the oil looks dark and burnt, discard and add ¼ cup fresh canola oil to the pot and return to medium-high heat.  Add the yellow onion, tomatoes, and remaining tablespoon of salt to the hot oil and cook until the onion begins to sweat, 5–7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.


Drain the softened chiles and discard the soaking water - it can make your chile bitter.  Take cue the chiles and place into a blender, add the toasted spices.  Add the cooked onion and tomatoes and garlic, blend all of this together and add to the pot with the meat. 


Take the pot with the meat and the chile sauce and place into the oven for about 1.5 hours.  Check to see if the meat shreds easily, if it doesn't, put it back in the oven for 30 minutes.


When it's ready, transfer the meat to a bowl, and shred to your desired texture.  Reserve all of the broth.


To make the Tacos:


Heat the remaining oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Dip a tortilla into the meat broth, then lay flat into the oil.  Add the Oaxaca and shredded meat to the tortilla.  Fold it shut and cook until the cheese is melty, about 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side.  Repeat with as many of the tortillas as you desire.


Serve the tacos along with the broth for dipping and all of your favorite sides.


Adapted from Tasty


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