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Authentic Birria Mexican dish

Birria is a Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco. The dish is a meat stew traditionally made from goat meat, but we are using smoked beef.


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* this will serve enough sauce for 4-8 tortillas depending on their size.

Smoked beef for Mexican Birria

  • 1.5 kg chuck beef or brisket
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1Tbsp Pepper
  • 1Tsp Ground Cumin
For the Sauce/Broth
  • 4Dried Ancho Chiles (can substitute chillies for 2 tbsp dried crushed jalapeño etc)
  • 4Dried Guajillo Chiles
  • 1Chipotle Pepper
  • 8Peppercorns 
  • 2cloves
  • 1Tsp dried thyme
  • 1Tsp Marjoram (can omit if you can’t find it)
  • 1Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 2Bay Leaves
  • 1/2Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2Cinnamon Stick
  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2Large Onion
  • 1 1/2Tbsp Salt
  • 4Red Tomatoes
  • 1/4cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup beef stock 

 Birria Mexican Ingredients

  • If smoking the beef (can just use a slow cooker or pressure cooker) start your smoker early

  • Season the beef with salt, pepper, and cumin

  • Then place on your smoker with some cherry wood and smoke until the red colour forms (usually 2-3 hours)

  • Cut open the dried chillies with scissors and remove the seeds or use the substitute 

  • Fry the dried chillies with a small amount of oil in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes, moving constantly so they don't burn. Set aside

  • Add the chillies from the previous step to a small pot with boiling water for approx 10 minutes.

  • In the same frying pan where you fried the chilies, add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the onions and tomatoes until they are browned and slightly translucent. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and all of the remaining spices except for the ground cumin and ginger. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, whilst stirring continuously.

  • Add the chillies (including the water, which should be a nice red colour), the ingredients from the previous step, and the ginger, cumin, apple cider vinegar, beef stock and water to a blender and blend until smooth. It will still be pretty thick, but that is fine. Strain and set aside the resulting sauce for the next step.

  • Now you have two options here. 1) If you have time, allow the beef to cool once it comes off the smoker, then pour sauce over the top and marinate overnight. 2) pull beef from smoker and add to slow cooker, then put sauce over the top.

  • After the beef has cooked in your cooker until it is like butter you want to start on the tortillas.

  • If you buy store bought, get the corn tortillas 

  • In a pan/skillet bring to medium heat, then dip the tortilla in the sauce and place in the pan

  • Assemble you beef on one side of the tortilla, add some red onions, spring onion and grated cheese

  • Then fold over the other side

  • When the cooking side gets a nice crust, flip it over 

  • To eat the Birria, I like to dip it in the sauce you have leftover for that flavour punch!

  • If it’s a little spicy just add some sour cream to equalise the temperature.

Birria Mexican taco using smoked beef instead of goat meat

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