Traditional Mexican Birria


Embark on a culinary journey to Mexico with our Traditional Mexican Birria recipe! Birria, a beloved dish hailing from the state of Jalisco, is a flavorful stew traditionally made with tender meat simmered in a fragrant broth infused with a blend of aromatic spices. This iconic dish is often enjoyed during celebrations and special occasions, loved for its rich flavors and comforting warmth. Join us as we explore the secrets behind crafting this classic Mexican dish and discover how to recreate its authentic taste in your own kitchen.


  • 5 ancho peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 5 guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 to 3 chiles de arbol (optional, for extra heat)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups beef stock, separated
  • 3 and 1/2 pound lamb shoulder (alternatively, beef shank or chuck roast can be used)


  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and toast the dried peppers 1-2 minutes per side until skins darken. Remove and steep in hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. In the same pan, sauté onion and fresh tomatoes in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Transfer cooked vegetables and softened chilies (reserve soaking liquid) to a food processor. Add seasonings, vinegar, and 1 cup beef stock. Process until smooth.
  4. Cut meat into large chunks, rub in the birria sauce, and marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Cook marinated meat with roasted tomatoes and remaining beef stock in a covered pot at medium heat for 3 hours.
  6. Serve as a stew or shred for birria tacos, using the liquid consome as a side soup.
  7. Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 3 hours 30 minutes | Marinating Time: 2 hours | Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes | Kcal: 314 | Servings: 6

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve the birria hot, straight from the pot, for maximum flavor and aroma.
  2. Provide an array of traditional accompaniments such as diced onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and warm corn tortillas for a complete birria experience.
  3. Consider serving birria as the main course for a festive gathering or special occasion, accompanied by Mexican rice, refried beans, and guacamole.
  4. If you’re hosting a taco party, set up a birria taco station with assorted toppings and let guests build their own tacos with the tender beef and flavorful broth.
  5. For a comforting meal, serve birria in bowls with a side of Mexican rice or warm tortillas for dipping.

Storage Tips:

  1. Allow any leftover birria to cool completely before storing.
  2. Transfer the birria (both the shredded meat and broth) to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days.
  3. Reheat the birria gently on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or beef broth to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Birria can also be frozen for longer storage. Place the cooled birria in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze it for up to 2-3 months.
  5. Thaw frozen birria overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stovetop or in the microwave.


  1. What is birria and where does it originate from? Birria is a traditional Mexican stew, often made with tender meat (such as beef, goat, or lamb) that is slow-cooked in a flavorful broth infused with various spices and chilies. It originates from the state of Jalisco in western Mexico and is commonly enjoyed during celebrations and special occasions.
  2. What type of meat is typically used in birria? While beef is commonly used in birria, other meats such as goat (chivo) or lamb (borrego) can also be used, depending on regional preferences and availability. The meat is typically cut into large chunks and slow-cooked until tender and flavorful.
  3. What are the key spices and chilies used in birria? Traditional birria is seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices such as cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and dried oregano. It also features a variety of dried chilies for flavor and heat, including guajillo, ancho, and pasilla chilies.
  4. Can I make birria ahead of time? Yes, birria can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. In fact, birria often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer for future enjoyment.
  5. What are some traditional accompaniments for birria? Birria is typically served with a variety of traditional accompaniments such as diced onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and warm corn tortillas. These toppings add freshness and texture to the rich and savory stew, enhancing the overall dining experience.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Mexico with our Traditional Mexican Birria recipe! This hearty stew, simmered to perfection with tender beef and aromatic spices, is a celebration of Mexican culinary heritage. Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal on a chilly evening or served as the centerpiece of a festive gathering, birria is sure to captivate your taste buds and transport you to the heart of Mexico. Follow our easy-to-follow recipe to experience the authentic taste of birria in your own home.

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