Bring the vibrant taste of Mexico to your table with incredible birria tacos! Savor the tender, slow-cooked beef, smothered in a rich, flavorful sauce, and garnished with onion and cilantro – all wrapped in a crispy, toasted tortilla.

Close up view of birria tacos.

Welcome to the world of Mexican cuisine, where the incredible birria [beer-EE-uh] taco awaits you! This delectable dish is a testament to the vibrant flavors and rich culinary traditions of Mexico, offering a truly unforgettable dining experience. Our recipe features succulent, slow-cooked beef in a velvety, spiced sauce, garnished with onion and cilantro, all nestled in a crispy, toasted tortilla. The harmony of textures and flavors is what sets this dish apart. So, get ready to appreciate the art of making birria at home and embark on a delicious, culinary adventure!

The Rich History of Birria

Birria tacos have their roots in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, where birria, a traditional slow-cooked meat stew, has been enjoyed since the 16th century. The origin of birria is entwined with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, who imposed their livestock preferences on the region, such as goats, but dismissed goat meat as undesirable. The colonization of Mexico, which began in the early 16th century, led to a profound transformation of the local cuisine, as European ingredients and cooking techniques were introduced and often forced upon the indigenous population.

Despite the Spaniards’ disdain for goat meat, the indigenous people of Mexico displayed their resilience and culinary creativity by transforming this neglected ingredient into a tender, flavorful stew. Today, birria continues to hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of people in Jalisco and beyond. It serves as a powerful reminder of the region’s rich culinary history and the ingenuity of its people, who overcame colonial impositions and turned humble ingredients into a beloved and enduring culinary masterpiece.

For truly authentic Mexican recipes, check out Mexico In My Kitchen! Mely is passionate about sharing traditional Mexican dishes and preserving her country’s rich culinary heritage. Her blog offers an extensive collection of recipes, cooking tips, and cultural insights, making it an excellent starting point for those seeking to dive deeper into the world of Mexican cuisine.

Can I use a different type of meat?

While birria is traditionally made with goat or beef, you can always substitute with lamb or even chicken if needed, though the cooking time may vary. Keep in mind that using any meat other than goat or beef can change the overall flavor and texture of this dish.

What kind of tortillas should I use?

You can use either corn or flour tortillas, depending on your preference. Corn tortillas are traditional, but flour tortillas will work just as well.

Can I make the sauce spicier?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the number of chipotle peppers to suit your desired spice level.

What is the difference between birria tacos and quesabirria?

The traditional Birria tacos and their modern counterpart, quesabirria, share a rich history, but also have some key differences in preparation and ingredients. Birria tacos feature slow-cooked, succulent beef in a velvety, spiced sauce, served in a toasted tortilla with onion and cilantro.

On the other hand, quesabirria emerged from Tijuana as a contemporary twist on the classic birria tacos, adding cheese into the mix. This innovative version incorporates a generous amount of cheese, typically Oaxaca or Monterey Jack, which is melted on the tortilla during the toasting process. The inclusion of cheese not only alters the taste and texture of the taco but also reflects a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors with the modern penchant for cheesy delights.

While both birria tacos and quesabirria share a common foundation of tender, slow-cooked meat in a rich, spiced sauce, it is the addition of cheese that sets the two apart. Quesabirria is a testament to the evolving nature of culinary traditions, as they seamlessly blend old and new, creating a mouthwatering experience that appeals to a broader audience.

Birria tacos on a serving platter.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Store leftover meat, sauce, and assembled tacos separately in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat the meat and sauce in a saucepan over low heat, or microwave in short intervals, stirring occasionally. Reheat assembled tacos in a dry skillet over low heat until warmed through.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in some of our other delicious Mexican food favorites:

Watch the Video

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.