Birria (Mexican Beef Stew)

Birria is simply delicious. It is great for making Birria Tacos. I find myself making this stew just so that I can make Birria Tacos.

Birria de Res


  • Large cast iron pan
  • Large Dutch oven (5-quart)
  • Heatproof bowl
  • Saucepan


  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 6 dried chile guajillo
  • 2 dried chile ancho
  • 1 large onion, dry skin removed, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds chuck roast
  • 2 pounds short ribs
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onions, cilantro and lime, for garnish
  • Optional: Warm corn tortillas for making Birria Tacos


  1. In a saucepan, bring beef broth to a boil over high heat.
  2. Heat large cast iron pan on the stove over medium heat.
  3. Toast the chiles in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, turning frequently, making sure they do not burn. (Discard and replace any burnt chiles.)
  4. Toast the onion in the cast iron pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown.
  5. Transfer toasted chiles to a heatproof bowl, add 1 cup boiling beef broth, and let the chiles soak for 5 minutes, or until pliable.
  6. Reserving the chile broth, remove the stems of the chiles and pull them open. Remove the veins and seeds, then strain.
  7. Add the reserved broth, the chiles, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, clove, cinnamon, bouillon and bay leaves in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and set aside.
  8. In the cast iron pan, heat two tablespoons of oil.
  9. Chop beef into medium cubes, then add salt and pepper to the meat. In the cast iron pan, sear the beef on all sides until the meat is brown, then transfer to the Dutch oven.
  10. Add the strained chile mixture to the top of the meat in the Dutch oven. Add enough beef broth to cover the meat.
  11. Bring the Dutch oven to a simmer, then cook over medium heat for at least 3 hours, but up to 5 hours. (When it’s done cooking, the meat should be tender enough to start falling apart with a fork.)
  12. Skim grease from the top. (Reserve this grease and use it as your cooking oil if you’re planning on making Birria Tacos.) Remove any bones and gristle from the mixture before serving.
  13. To serve, ladle desired amount of meat into a bowl with spoonsful of the consomé.
  14. Top with finely diced onion, cilantro and lime, and serve with warm tortillas.