Beef Birria Recipe

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This beef birria is one of the best stews ever. I’m really excited to show you this recipe because after we enjoy this in stew form, we’re doing a follow-up video using this to make some of the most incredible tacos you’ve ever had. If you like beef stew and you’re a fan of chili, you’re going to go nuts over this. Serve with lime wedges as-is or with warm flour tortillas, chili oil, salsa, and diced avocado next to some Spanish rice and a nice green salad.

Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time:3 hrs 40 mins | Additional Time:6 hrs | Total Time:10 hrs 10 mins | Servings:10

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) beef chuck
  • 3 (8 ounce) beef short ribs
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 7 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium lime, sliced

Directions

  1. Cut beef chuck in half; cut each half into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Cut each beef short rib through the middle, all the way down to the bone.
  2. Place beef chuck and short ribs into a soup pot; season with kosher salt, oregano, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Toss thoroughly until meat is evenly coated with spices, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours overnight.
  3. Prep guajillo chiles by snipping off stems with scissors; slice them open and scrape or shake out seeds onto a plate to discard.
  4. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add guajillo chiles and toss in hot oil, for about 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; toss to combine. Add tomatoes and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to purée mixture as smoothly as possible, or use a countertop blender, working in batches as needed.
  6. Remove the soup pot with meat from the refrigerator. Strain puréed chili mixture into the pot using a large mesh strainer. Add chicken broth, vinegar, bay leaves, and honey to the pot.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until meat is fall-apart tender, 3 to 4 hours. Skim fat off of the top and reserve for future birria queso tacos.
  8. To serve, place a few chunks of beef into a soup bowl and spoon some cooking liquid on the top. Sprinkle with some white onion and cilantro; squeeze lime juice over the top.

Chef’s Notes

The rule of thumb for this kind of thing is to use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat.

This will work with other dried chiles, such as ancho, pasilla, or California.

You can use water with chicken bouillon powder instead of chicken broth.

Water or broth can be added as needed to keep the stew brothy as it simmers, or it can be allowed to reduce and thicken as it cooks. The beef can be served in large chunks or shredded with a fork.

If you enjoyed this with beef, you should really get some goat or lamb and prepare it the same way. That little bit of extra gaminess you gain with those meats really does work out, even with this flavor profile.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 375 | Fat: 28g | Carbs: 8g | Protein: 21g

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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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