Birria Tacos Recipe

What are Birria Tacos?

Birria is traditionally a spicy and super savory Mexican beef or goat stew that’s slow cooked until the meat is tender and fall-apart juicy and delicious. Someone had the amazing idea to stuff this meaty goodness into a taco shell, and then dip the whole thing into the stew and fry it up. These birria tacos blew up after that, and the rest is history.

Beef birria tacos

While birria is traditionally made with goat, for most of us it’s easier to get beef so that’s what I’ve gone with here. Beef is also the safer choice for crowds, but if you’re an adventurous eater and want to go with goat, you should totally go(at) for it. The recipe remains the same, just switch out the beef shank and sirloin for goat.

The best birria tacos are dipped in the stew and then fried to crispy goodness

It’s really in dipping the tortilla into the stew and frying it to a crisp that the magic happens, so don’t skip this step. Tacos are good but very few people who don’t live in the southwest know that tacos only become truly transcendent once you cook the tortilla in fat. Traditionally they do this in butter or lard, but here we use the fat from the top of the stew to give it that extra kick. Once you bite into a crisp fried taco shell, you’ll never go back.

Instant pot birria

You can make this stew any way you like, but I prefer it in the instant pot because it’s so much faster, and keeps more of the flavor locked inside the dish. Those yummy smells that fill up your house when you slow cook for hours? Those are flavor particles, and that means that’s flavor that’s not in your soup. But, regardless of how you make this, it’ll come out absolutely delicious, so pick whatever method is best for you.

How to make Birria Tacos

Once you have the stew, making the tacos is super easy:

  1. Shred your meats. Fry them up too, if you like. I skipped this step and it was ok, but if you like your meat extra crispy and hot, here’s where you would do that.
  2. Warm up your tortillas. This makes them pliable and soft. We use a tortilla warmer, but you can just wrap them up in damp paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Dip and fill. Dip your tortillas in the soup, the fat is near the surface so you don’t need to dip too far, but make sure they get coverage. Then top half of the tortilla with beef, onions, cilantro (optional), and cheese (optional).
  4. Fold and fry. Fry your tacos in a non stick skillet over medium heat until they crisp up, 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a side of the stew to use as a dip.

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