Beef Quesabirria Tacos

Authentic Mexican Birria tacos, Jalisco-style, made with braised beef roasted in a fragrant 3-chile broth with a delicious spice mix.

Quesabirria was created in  Tijuana, Mexico. The dish is inspired by the traditional Birria stew of Jalisco. Typically made with goat, the specialty can also be made with beef or lamb, called Birria de Res and Birria de Borrego, respectively. Traditionally, Birrierias serve the slow-cooked meat in a rich broth or with the consommé on the side.

Beef birria cheese tacos have started to become very popular among street food vendors all around, but especially in southern California and Tijuana, Mexico.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Meat: Boneless chuck roast, short ribs...or combination.
  • Vegetables: Tomatoes (canned or fresh) onion, garlic, and cilantro
  • Cheese: Quesadilla cheese, and Oaxaca
  • Spices: Dried bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, dried thyme, black peppercorns, and salt.
  • Chiles: Dried guajillo peppers, dried ancho chiles, and dried chile de arbol.
  • Liquids: Beef broth, vinegar, and water
  • Corn Tortillas: Flour tortillas can also be used to make a Birria quesadilla

How to Make Quesabirria Tacos

  • Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. When hot, season beef with salt and pepper and add to pot. Sear on all sides. Add half of the onion to the pot and cook for two minutes more. Remove the Dutch oven from heat and set aside while you make the sauce.

  • Quesabirria Tacos

  • In a medium pot, add the chiles, tomatoes, half-onion, garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, vinegar, and bay leaves. Pour in enough water to cover all ingredients, about 4 to 5 cups. Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 

  • Add remaining seasonings to the medium pot: dried oregano, cumin, dried thyme, and salt and peppercorns. Give it a stir and simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.

  • Quesabirria Tacos

  • Place the remaining strained solids into a blender. Add 2 cups of the broth from the medium pot into the blender, plus 1 cup of beef broth. Blend until well blended. Taste and add more salt if needed and blend until mixed in.

  • Place the pot with the beef and onion back on the stove at medium heat. Pour the contents of the blender over the beef. If the sauce does not have enough liquid to cover the beef, pour in enough beef broth to cover it. Bring to a simmer, then cover and lower the heat. Simmer until meat is tender and shreds easily about 2½ to 3 hours.

  • Quesabirria Tacos

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using tongs, dip a tortilla into the top of the stew (where the fat floats), then place it in the hot skillet. Top with some shredded beef, cheese, onion, and cilantro.

  • Beef Quesabirria Tacos
  • Serve warm with a small bowl of the Birria stew for dipping. Serve with lime wedges and sliced jalapenos if desired. Top tacos with diced onion, more cilantro, and more cheese if desired.

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    Beef Quesabirria Tacos

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    Beef Quesabirria Tacos