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Birria tacos on a black plate on a wooden table.
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5 from 1 vote

Birria Tacos

Birria Tacos are stuffed with tender, juicy beef and lamb, topped with cheese, then pan-fried to a crisp before adding cilantro and onions!
Prep Time22 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 45 mins
Marinade Time2 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 7 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 tacos
Calories: 288kcal


  • 3 cups water
  • 4 Dried Ancho Chiles
  • 4 Dried Guajillo Chiles
  • 2 Dried Chipotle Peppers
  • 1 Lb Bone-In Lamb Ribs
  • 1 Lb Beef shank
  • 1 Lb Beef loin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ white onion cut into thick slices
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ white onion diced for serving
  • Limes for serving
  • Salsa or pico for serving


  • Add 3 cups of water, dried ancho chiles, guajillo peppers, and chipotle chiles to a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
    3 cups water, 4 Dried Ancho Chiles, 4 Dried Guajillo Chiles, 2 Dried Chipotle Peppers
  • Strain the chile water into a large bowl. Remove the stems from the chiles and set them aside. Reserve a ½ cup of the chile water and pour the remaining chile water into a casserole dish.
  • Rub salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin onto all sides of the meat and put it into the casserole dish with the chile water.
    1 Lb Bone-In Lamb Ribs, 1 Lb Beef shank, 1 Lb Beef loin, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorn, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Saute the chopped tomatoes and onion in the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Then add in the chiles, cooking until lightly browned, about 4 more minutes.
    ½ white onion, 3 heirloom tomatoes
  • Reduce heat and add garlic cloves, bay leaves, cloves, oregano, marjoram, thyme, minced onion, and cinnamon stick. Saute for about 5 minutes.
    5 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1 teaspoon mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • Puree the contents from the skillet in a food processor or blender with the reserved ½ cup of chile water. Strain into the casserole dish over the meat to cover.
  • Marinate for 2 hours then remove the meat from the casserole dish.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove rack of lamb, beef shank, and beef loin from marinade. Sear all sides of the meat, working in batches, this should take about 1 minute per side.
  • Pour the remaining marinade into a Dutch oven. Add the seared rack of lamb, beef shank, and beef loin into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 3½ hours, stopping every 30 minutes to baste the meat with the liquid inside. After 3½ hours, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Discard the bones and shred the meat.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the tortilla into the consomme (sauce) right on top of the shredded meat. Add a little shredded cheese and ¼ cup of shredded meat. Place the folded taco onto the skillet and cook 1 minute per side.
    12 flour tortillas
  • Top with fresh chopped cilantro and white onion and serve with lime wedges and salsa as well as the remaining consomme.
    1 bunch cilantro, ½ white onion, Limes, Salsa or pico


  • Each meat portion may weigh between 1 and 1.5 lbs.
  • Beef short ribs can be used in place of the lamb, or a small roast can be used in place of both the ribs and the loin.
  • Regular oregano can be used.
  • How To Store: Refrigerate any leftover Birria for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
  • Do I Have To Make This In A Dutch Oven? Not at all! Another popular way of making Birria Tacos is doing so in an instant pot or crock pot.
  • What Can I Serve With These Tacos? These tacos are definitely good enough as a stand-alone meal! But if you’re looking for something else to compliment them you could serve Mexican rice or homemade tortilla chips alongside them!


Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg