Birria de Res (Beef Birria Recipe)

Birria de res is the ultimate comfort food. A slow-food recipe featuring beef meat which is cooked in a chili and spices broth to make a delicious consomé. The meat melts in your mouth and the delicious sauce will make your heart sing!

Mexican birria de res (beef birria).

What is birria?

Birria is a traditional Mexican dish made specially for parties, holidays and celebrations. Its origins are from the western State of Jalisco but it’s widely popular in many other States through out Mexico.

The dish consists in beef marinated in a sauce made with chilies and spices, then simmered for hours in a broth until the meat is falling from the bones.

Mexican beef birria served on a deep plate and garnished with chopped cilantro and onion.

Traditionally, birria is made in a large clay (or aluminium) pot which is then placed in a hole on the ground over firewood live coal. But to this days, that method is not longer popular and is used only in small towns, where traditions are still important.

So, birria de res now is made with other methods, like oven, pressure cooker, crockpot or even on the stove. It depends mostly in which recipe you’re following.

How it’s served?

Birria de res is served in a deep plate, with the meat shredded and covered with the broth (consomé). Then is garnished with fresh diced onion, chopped cilantro and with a squeeze of lime.

Corn tortillas and salsa are the other complements. Specially homemade corn tortillas. For salsa we recommend our delicious salsa de chile de árbol which is truly delicious!

Beef birria served on a deep plate and garnished with cilantro and onion.

What meat is used?

Traditional Mexican birria is made with goat (birria de chivo o cabrito), lamb or mutton (birria de borrego o cordero). But to this days, beef is most used as it’s cheaper and easily available in many places.

Various beef cuts in a bowl.

For this recipe I am using a mix of beef: Some ribs, brisket and loin. Sometimes I also use shank, beef chuck or even oxtail. Here’s a guide to all cuts of beef that you might find interesting.

Beef Birria Recipe (step by step) + VIDEO

Discard the stems on chilies, then using scissors, cut the chiles in half lengthwise and discard the seeds.

Cleaning pasilla chilies.

Place a heavy skillet or comal over medium heat and lightly roast chilies. Place them on a bowl and cover them with hot water. Leave them to soak for 15 minutes.

Adding hot water over chilies on a bowl.

Roast tomatoes and onions until soft and some charred spots appears. Set aside.

Roasted tomatoes and onions on a comal.

Place soaked chilies and all spices on a blender. Add tomatoes, onions, 2 cups of water and vinegar.

Spices and other ingredients on blender, seen from above.

Blend for 2 or 3 minutes on high speed until you’ll achieve a smooth sauce. Now, you can either strain the sauce or use it as it is.

The sauce blended.

Place the meat into a large baking dish, it must be big enough to contain all meat plus water (read notes). Pour over the chili sauce and coat all sides perfectly.

The beef (res) meat marinated inside a baking dish.

Cover the dish with cling film and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Make the birria stew

Next day, add water enough to cover the meat about 3 inches (7,5cm). Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt and add two bay leaves.

Pouring water over marinated beef.

Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) between 3 and 4 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Beef (res) cooked birria after 4 hours.

Place meat into a bowl and shred it with two forks. Cover it with foil to keep it warm.

Serve

Mexican birria beef.

Recipe notes

  • Make sure the meat is always covered by the liquid to allow Mexican Birria de Res to cook evenly.
  • To adjust the salt, about half way of cooking taste the broth, add more salt if needed, cover again and keep baking.
  • You can marinate beef into a smaller bowl or container then transfer it to a larger pot or baking dish before cooking it.

How to replace Mexican dried chilies

You can replace Mexican chilies with hot and sweet paprika. Use about 6 to 7 tablespoons for this recipe. The taste of course will change a bit, but it will still turn delicious and you can enjoy birria de res even if you live in a country where you don’t have Mexican chilies available.

How To Store

  • Mexican birria de res can be perfectly stored in the freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze the meat and broth separately or together, whatever you prefer.
  • Moreover, you can also store in the fridge for up to five days, since vinegar will help to preserve the dish longer. Place leftovers on a container with an air-tight cover.

Watch How To Make Mexican Birria de Res

More traditional Mexican dishes

  • Pozole rojo: A hominy stew flavored with pork meat and served with various toppings like lettuce, onion, lime, and salsa.
  • Beef Chile rojo: A popular comfort food and a staple in the Mexican cuisine. Check out our easy recipe.
  • Chorizo: How to make a delicious, spiced and easy Mexican chorizo at home.
  • White pozole: This Colima-style pozole is delicious and something that you maybe haven’t tried yet, so don’t wait more make it!
  • Mole de olla: Craving more brothy dishes? try this traditional mole de olla.
Mexican birria de res traditional recipe.

Birria de Res (beef birria)

Birria de res is a slow-food recipe featuring beef meat which is cooked until amazingly tender in a chili and spices broth to make a delicious consomé.
PREP 20 minutes
COOK 4 hours
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 8
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb beef brisket (whole piece)
  • 1 lb bone-in beef ribs
  • 1 lb beef loin (cut into chunks)

For marinade

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 ancho peppers (stem and seeds removed)
  • 6 guajillo peppers (stem and seeds removed)
  • 1 pasilla pepper (stem and seeds removed)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves (+ 2 more for cooking birria)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • salt

Instructions

Make birria marinade

  • Lightly toast chilies on a iron cast skillet or comal.
  • Place chilies on a bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Roast tomatoes and onions until soft and some charred spots appears. Set aside.
  • Place soaked chilies and all spices on a blender. Add tomatoes, onions, 2 cups of water and vinegar.
  • Blend for 2 or 3 minutes on high speed until you’ll achieve a smooth sauce. Strain the sauce or use it as it is.

Marinate the meat

  • Place the meat into a large baking dish, it must be big enough to contain all meat plus water (read notes). Pour over the chili sauce and coat all sides perfectly.
  • Add two bay leaves, cover the dish with cling film and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Make the birria stew

  • Next day, add water enough to cover the meat about 3 inches (7,5cm). Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt and add the remaining bay leaves.
  • Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) between 3 and 4 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  • Place meat into a bowl and shred it with two forks. Cover it with foil to keep it warm.

Serve

NOTES

  • Make sure the meat is always covered by the liquid to allow Mexican Birria to cook evenly.
  • To adjust the salt, about half way of cooking taste the broth, add more salt if needed, cover again and keep baking.
  • You can marinate beef into a smaller bowl or container then transfer it to a larger pot or baking dish before cooking it.
Nutrition
Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 906mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3749IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 4mg
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