Birria tacos have taken the world by storm, offering tender meat, cheesy goodness, and an irresistible taste that keeps you coming back for more. This article will teach you how to make a delicious, wallet-friendly version of this popular dish using beef chuck roast, dried chilies, and unique spices.
Preparing the Chili Paste
Softening the Dried Chilies
Begin by prepping the chili paste for the stew. Take 4 dried ancho chilies and 2 dried guajillo chilies, remove the stems and seeds, and discard them. Add the chilies to a pot of boiling water, ensuring they are fully submerged. Turn off the heat and let them sit for about 15 minutes to soften.
Blending the Chili Paste Ingredients
Once the chilies have softened, drain them and add them to a blender or food processor. Add the following ingredients:
- 2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
- 6 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 0.5 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 0.5 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 0.25 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Puree the mixture until smooth, and set aside.
Preparing the Beef
Cubing and Seasoning the Chuck Roast
For this recipe, use a 4-pound chuck roast. Cube it into 4-inch size cubes and season with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Searing the Beef Chunks
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large oven-safe Dutch oven, preheat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef chunks on all sides, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Creating the Stew
Cooking the Onions and Chili Paste
After browning the beef, remove the chunks from the pan and set aside. Add 1 roughly diced white onion to the pan and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes to achieve some color. Add the chili paste to the onions and sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
Combining the Ingredients
Pour in 4 cups of beef broth and stir. Submerge the beef chunks in the liquid, place the lid
on the Dutch oven, and transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook for approximately 3 hours.
Preparing the Toppings
While the beef is cooking, prepare the following toppings:
- Dice 1 red onion
- Chop 1 cup of fresh cilantro
- Shred some Oaxaca cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese as an alternative)
Shredding the Cooked Beef
Once the beef is cooked, remove the chunks from the liquid and shred the meat.
Making Birria and Quesa Birria Tacos
There are two types of tacos you can make with this recipe: Birria tacos and Quesa Birria tacos. The main difference between the two is the addition of cheese in Quesa Birria tacos. Both are delicious, so feel free to make either or both.
Assembling the Tacos
To make the tacos, follow these steps:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Take a small corn tortilla and dip it into the cooking liquid.
- Place the dipped tortilla in the hot skillet, and let it toast for 1 to 2 minutes until it browns.
- Flip the tortilla and add cheese (if making Quesa Birria tacos), shredded beef, a generous pinch of onions, and cilantro.
- Fold the tortilla in half to cover the filling.
- Continue to toast the tortilla until the cheese melts, flipping it so that both sides are toasted.
Birria tacos are traditionally served with a bowl of the cooking liquid. To enjoy, simply grab a taco, dip it into the liquid, and savor the flavors. It may be a bit messy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Now you know how to make these mouthwatering Birria tacos at home. Enjoy the process, and share this delicious dish with friends and family.
Tips and Variations:
- Use short ribs instead of beef chuck roast for a richer flavor.
- Add some diced tomatoes and bell peppers to the stew for added texture and flavor.
- Use different types of cheese such as queso fresco or cheddar instead of Oaxaca cheese.
- Top with sliced avocado or jalapenos for some added heat and freshness.
- Serve with different types of tortillas such as flour or whole wheat tortillas.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What are Berea tacos? Berea tacos are a type of taco that originated in northern Mexico. They are typically made with tender beef that has been slow-cooked in a flavorful chili paste, and then served on a toasted corn tortilla with cheese, onions, and cilantro.
- Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker? Yes, you can make this recipe in a slow cooker by following the same steps to prepare the chili paste and brown the beef, and then transferring everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Can I use a different type of meat instead of beef? Yes, you can use chicken, pork, or even tofu instead of beef. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of protein you use.
- Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Tender, meaty, cheesy tacos made with beef chuck roast, a mix of flavorful dried chilies, and unique spices. These delicious and wallet-friendly tacos will leave you wanting more.
4 dried ancho chilies
2 dried guajillo chilies
4 lb beef chuck roast
1 cup crushed tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 white onion, roughly diced
4 cups beef broth
1 red onion, diced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Oaxaca cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Small corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho and guajillo chilies.
- Boil the chilies in water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the softened chilies, chipotle peppers, garlic, crushed tomatoes, vinegar, Mexican oregano, paprika, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
- Cube the beef chuck roast into 4-inch pieces and season with salt.
- In a large oven-safe Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef chunks on all sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the beef and set aside.
- In the same Dutch oven, sauté the white onion for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned.
- Add the chili paste to the onions and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the beef broth and return the beef chunks to the Dutch oven. Make sure they are submerged in the liquid.
- Cover and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
- Remove the beef chunks from the liquid and shred.
- To assemble the tacos, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip a corn tortilla in the cooking liquid and place it in the skillet.
- Toast the tortilla for 1-2 minutes until brown, then flip.
- Add cheese (optional for Birria Tacos), shredded beef, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro.
- Fold the tortilla in half to cover the filling and continue toasting until the cheese is melted, flipping to toast both sides.
- Serve the tacos with a bowl of the cooking liquid for dipping.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 8 servings
- Calories: 522
- Sugar: 7.4g
- Sodium: 913mg
- Fat: 28g
- Saturated Fat: 12g
- Unsaturated Fat: 14g
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 42g
- Cholesterol: 130mg