Chef's CornerDesiree Brassert

Birria Tacos

Chef's corner headerThese tacos are taking the world by storm and are a genius way of enjoying fork tender stewed beef encased in corn tortillas and eaten like a French dip.
One pot of beef stew can make 20 tacos or more.


For the birria stew

  • 6 dried Mexican guajillo chilies
  • 1.5 kilos of beef for stewing (lomo)
  • 1 kilo of bone in beef ribs (costilla de res)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 cups of low sodium beef broth
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of chile powder
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the tacos

  • 20 corn tortillas
  • Oaxaca, Palmito, or any shredded cheese, optional but strongly encouraged
  • Garnishes of chopped onion, chopped cilantro, jalapeño slices and lime wedges


  1. Remove seeds and soak the guajillo chilies in warm water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut meat into chunks, season with salt and pepper, and sear all sides in hot oil in a Dutch oven.
  3. In a blender, liquefy the guajillo chiles with the soaking water, the tomatoes, the onion and the garlic. Add these to the meat along with broth, the cinnamon and cloves, and the orange juice.
  4. Slowly simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. To assemble the tacos, strain out the meat and pour some stock into little dipping bowls.
  6. Heat the tortillas in an oiled griddle so they become pliable.
  7. Dip tortillas in remaining stock before filling with meat and cheese.
  8. Fold in half and cook on an oiled griddle for a few minutes on each side, garnish and serve with little bowl of stock on the side.