This Is The Only Beef Birria Recipe You'll Ever Need

All the best birria creations start with this mother recipe.

Since hitting the foodie big leagues, birria has been seemingly showing up everywhere, from LA to Nashville, and on everything, from melty quesabirria to Chicago-style pizza and even cross-continental creations like gyozas. But before you can start using birria as some sort of all-purpose topping on any old trendy street food menu, you must first understand what proper birria tastes like and how it's to be made.

A proper birria is a heavenly concoction of slightly viscous broth and tender meat. The consomé is to be a perfect potion of rendered fat, meat juices, and adobo sauce that should feel like it rests on your tongue as you slurp it up. The adobo sauce, which drives the flavor of the dish, is made up of a combination of rehydrated chiles and Mexican spices.

If done correctly, birria is a most savory affair with a perfect balance of complex flavors that each get their due in every bite you take. This recipe for a stovetop version hits on all the traditional flavors of birria, and once you nail it, you'll want to dish it on top of everything.

Traditional Beef Birria, Stovetop Version

Makes 10-12 servings


  • 2 lbs. chuck roast
  • 2 lbs. short rib
  • 6 dried chile guajillo
  • 2 dried chile ancho
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 clove
  • ¼ cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon
  • 3-4 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • onions, cilantro, and lime, for garnish
  • Optional: Warm tortillas for making birria tacos


  • Large cast iron pan
  • Large Dutch oven (5-quart or larger)

To make the chile base:

Heat large cast iron pan to medium/high heat.

Toast the chiles for 1-2 minutes, turning frequently to make sure they don't burn. Transfer the toasted chiles to a heatproof bowl.

Saute the onion until the it begins to brown.


Add 1 cup boiling beef broth to the heatproof bowl, allowing chiles to soak for 5 minutes or until pliable.

Remove the chiles from broth (reserve the broth for the next step), then remove all the seeds and veins from the chiles.

Add reserved broth, chiles, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, clove, cinnamon stick, bouillon, and bay leaves to a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.

To make the beef:

Chop chuck roast into 2" cubes. Generously season all sides of chuck roast and short ribs with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large cast iron pan. Brown chuck roast and short ribs on all sides, but do not cook all the way through. Transfer meat to a Dutch oven.


Add your chile base and the remaining 2-3 cups of beef broth to the Dutch oven. Use enough beef broth to submerge the beef. Stir to combine.

Bring the Dutch oven to a simmer and cook over medium heat for at least three hours, but up to five. The meat should be tender enough to fall apart using a fork.

Remove bones and gristle from the cooked beef. Reserve the broth for dipping purposes, if desired. Serve the finished beef with tortillas, cilantro, onion, and lime.

MexiPoix Relish (Mexican Mirepoix)

Makes approx. 20 oz.


  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeno slices, finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste


In a bowl, combine onions, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, lime juice, and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Serve on tacos, sandwiches, salads, and more.