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a bowl of beef birria Mexican stew, garnishes with red onion, cilantro and lime

Beef Birria

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5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Kyndra Holley
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This homemade Beef Birria recipe has a rich, flavorful broth and is delicious, hearty Mexican stew. It is best served with some fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, and a squeeze of lime juice. Use the leftover meat to make beef birria quesatacos and dip them in the leftover consommé. Either way, your tastebuds are sure to be delighted.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 pounds chuck roast (or half beef short ribs and half chuck roast) cut into 2 to 3 inch chunks
  • (I get my grass-fed, grass-finished beef here)
  • sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large onion, sliced in half and peeled with the stem left on
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles, seeded with the stems cut off (get them here)
  • 3 dried chile de arbol, seeded with the stems cut off (get them here)
  • chopped red onions, cilantro, and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chuck roast pieces generously with salt on all sides. Add the chuck roast to the pot and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the oregano, bay leaves, chili powder, cumin and cloves to the pot and stir to coat the beef in the spices. 
  3. Add the garlic and onion, then pour in the beef stock. Increase the heat to high to bring it to a boil.
  4. Once the broth is boiling, skim the foam from the top and discard.
  5. Add in the guajillo and chile de arbol chilis and let them boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the chilis and garlic cloves from the broth and put them in a large blender. Add three to four ladles of the broth to the blender, and blend until smooth.
  7. Strain the blended chilis back into the soup using a fine mesh sieve. Reduce the heat to low and let  simmer for two to three hours or until the meat is tender. Stir every 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Taste, and add more salt, if needed. Remove the onion before serving. Save the grease from the top of the broth for later to make quesatacos.
  9. Garnish with red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
  10. Be sure to save the leftover meat and broth to make Birria Quesatacos!


  • Storage: Store the leftover beef birria in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the leftovers for up to 6 months.
  • Reheating: I recommend rehearing this on the stovetop. 
  • Meat options: In addition to chuck roast, you can also make this beef birria with oxtail, beef short ribs, brisket, beef shank, lamb, goat, or a combination of any of these.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Beef Recipes
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Mexican