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Birria + 9 Ways To Use Birria Meat

Birria + 9 Ways To Use Birria Meat

Whip up a batch of this delicious birria recipe with birria consome on the stove, oven, or even make Instant Pot Birria. Enjoy as a stew or use it to make birria tacos, birria ramen or even mulitas.  This Birria de Res is made with a combination of savory beef (and/or lamb), dried chilis, onion, garlic and a medley of spices. 

Check out our other popular Mexican Recipes: Achiote Chicken, Carne Asada, Carne Asada Tacos, Carne Asada Fries, Carne Asada Nachos, Pollo Asado, Pollo Asado Tacos or Caldo de Queso.

Mexican Beef Stew in a white bowl surrounded by tortillas and pickled red onions.

What is Birria

Birria is a popular Mexican stew-like recipe loaded with tender meat, dried chiles, bold spices and vegetables. Originating in the Mexican state of Jalisco, birria is traditionally made with goat, however today’s craze uses easier to find meats such as beef or lamb. The meat is shredded and topped with the flavorful broth, fresh toppings and fresh tortillas (homemade flour tortillas)

Historically, this popular dish is served on holiday’s and special occasions. This would make an amazing untraditional Christmas Dinner or Christmas Eve Dinner recipe. 

Shredded meat in a cream dutch oven.

Recipes Using Beef Birria

There are many awesome recipes to make using the meat as a base – we’ll be posting some additional birria recipes soon, so keep your eyes out for them. Some of our favorites:

Raw beef and lamb chops in a white bowl.

Birria Meat

As mentioned above, this Mexican dish is traditionally made with goat (Birria de Chivo). Goat isn’t an easy cut of meat to find here in the United States so you can use beef, lamb or a combo of the two. We do recommend utilizing at least one bone-in cut. We typically use boneless beef with bone-in lamb loin chops. Here are some popular beef cuts and lamb cuts you can use.

Beef Cuts

  • Chuck Roast
  • Round
  • Short Ribs
  • Brisket
  • Shoulder 
  • Shanks
  • Sirloin
  • Skirt
  • Flank

Lamb Cuts


As there are quite a few ingredients that go into making this beef dish, we won’t list them all. Here’s a quick pic of the main spices you’ll need including: thyme, Mexican oregano, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, cloves, salt and black pepper. You’ll also need guajillo chilis and ancho chilis.

If you like cooking with dried chiles, make sure to check out our Camarónes a la Diabla recipe.

Ground spices in small clear bowls.

How to Make Beef Birria

(Como hacer birria de res) – We provide three different ways to make the beef, including on the stove, in the oven and in the Instant Pot. The recipe card below details the exact steps you need for success. For those who require step by step visual guides, when making complicated recipes (we’re one of them), here are a few:

Make and Strain the Sauce

Softened dry chilis in a saucepan of water. Birria sauce being strained through a wire mesh strainer.

Marinade the Meat

Roast the Meat Until Tender

How To Make Birria 3 Birria + 9 Ways To Use Birria Meat

Topping Ideas

This Mexican beef stew is already loaded with complex flavors, however you’re missing out if you don’t top it with a few of these flavor bombs:

4-ingredient Guacamole
Sour Cream
Cheese – Monterey Jack, Cotija Cheese, Queso Fresco or Oaxaca
Pickled Red Onions or Diced Onions
Pickled Banana Peppers or Pickled Peppers
Homemade Salsa or Hot Sauce
Pico de Gallo
Mango Pico de Gallo
Chopped Cilantro
Mexican Crema 
Shredded Lettuce
Lime Juice
Pickled Peaches – this would be an amazingly unexpected topping

Birria Consomé

Consome de birria is made when you strain the sauce before serving. It’s basically amped up beef consommé.  If enjoying as a stew, we do not strain the sauce. If enjoying in any other fashion, we do strain the sauce as nothing beats a shredded beef taco dipped in beef consome.

Birria Consome in a white bowl.


Drink Ideas

Here are a few of our favorites: Mexican Mule, Mango MicheladaMichelada rimmed with ChamoyBeermosa, or Margarita. Anything Mexican themed!

Close up of Birria in a white bowl topping with onions, pickled jalapenos and cilantro.

Birria Recipe

Whip up a delicious batch of this beef Birria Recipe (Mexican Beef Stew). Enjoy as a stew or to use in tacos or ramen.  This authentic Birria de Res is made of a combination of savory beef (and or lamb), chilis, onion, garlic and a medley of spices.
5 from 29 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Beef, Beef Chuck Roast, Birria Recipes, Lamb, Lamb Chops, Mexican Recipes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 511kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $35



  • 2 Lb Beef Chuck Roast (*Note 1)
  • 1 Lb Lamb Loin Chops (Or Use 3 Lbs. of Beef) (*Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, Divided
  • 4 Ancho Chilis
  • 4 Guajillo Chilis
  • 1 Small Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, Skins Removed
  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • 8 Black Peppercorns
  • ½ Cinnamon Stick
  • 1-2 Whole Chipotle Pepper
  • 14 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano (*Note 3)
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3-4 Cups Beef Broth, Divided (*Note 4)
  • Salt, To Taste
  • 2 Whole Bay Leaves


  • Lime Juice, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Red Onions, Cilantro, Chopped Onions


Prep the Meat:

  • Transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.

Prep the Chili's:

  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a skillet and pre-heat over medium heat. Cut open the dried chili's and remove the seeds. Add the chili's to the heated skillet and toast for about 1-2 per side. Make sure to continually move and toss the peppers so they don't burn. You'll need to re-start if you burn the chili's as they're take on a bitter flavor.
  • Remove the toasted chili's and place in a bowl of hot water until soft (approx. 20 minutes).

Make the Sauce:

  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same skillet and cook the onions until translucent (approx. 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic cloves and toast for 60 seconds, until fragrant. Transfer to the blender.
  • Toast the whole cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick for approx. 15 seconds and transfer to the blender.
  • Add the chipotle pepper, crushed tomatoes, dried thyme, dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, ground ginger, salt, apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of beef broth to the blender.
  • Drain the softened chilis (do not use the leftover chili water) and add to the blender. Blend until smooth. Add more beef broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to get the blender moving if the sauce is too thick. Salt to taste.
  • Add the bay leaves to the top of the meat. Pour the sauce over the meat and turn the meat pieces to ensure complete coverage. Marinate for a minimum of two hours, up to 24 hours.

Stovetop Cooking Instructions:

  • Add the meat and marinade to a large stockpot. Add 2-3 cups of beef broth, just enough to cover all the meat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 2.5 hours, until the meat shreds easily. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve in individual bowls and top with your favorite toppings. OPTIONAL: strain the sauce to create a consommé if using in ramen or tacos.

Oven Cooking Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the meat and marinade to a large oven-safe dish. Add 1-2 cups of beef broth, just enough to cover all the meat. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 2 hours, until the meat shreds easily. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve in individual bowls and top with your favorite toppings. OPTIONAL: strain the sauce to create a consommé if using in ramen or tacos.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Add two cups of beef broth to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add the meat and marinade. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the value is in the sealed position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, before finishing with a quick release. The meat should shred easily. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve in individual bowls and top with your favorite toppings. OPTIONAL: strain the sauce to create a consommé if using in ramen or tacos.


Note 1 – You can use a variety of different beef cuts. Check the full list in the recipe post. 
Note 2 – You can forgo the lamb and add an extra pound of beef in, if you prefer.
Note 3 – You can use regular oregano if you don’t have Mexican oregano on hand.
Note 4 – Don’t cut corners. Make sure to use high quality broth, such as our Instant Pot Bone broth, or the end result will suffer. 


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 1416mg | Potassium: 1106mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 5254IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg
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