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birria de res

How to Make Birria de Res

Birria de Res is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of tender, slow-cooked beef, typically made from cuts like chuck roast or shank, stewed in a flavorful combination of spices and seasonings.

Texture-wise, Birria de Res features tender, succulent beef that has been slow-cooked until it becomes fall-apart tender. The cooking process involves braising the beef with a blend of aromatic spices such as dried chilies (like guajillo, ancho, or pasilla), cumin, cloves, garlic, bay leaves, and vinegar. This results in a dish with meat that is soft and juicy, with layers of flavors from the spices.

The dish often involves marinating the beef in the spice mixture for some time before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Then, the beef is typically cooked slowly, either on a stovetop, in an oven, or a slow cooker, allowing the meat to become incredibly tender while absorbing the rich and complex flavors of the spices.

Birria de Res is commonly served as a stew or in tacos, quesadillas, or tortas (sandwiches). The stew is usually accompanied by corn tortillas for dipping or wrapping the meat, along with condiments such as diced onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and sometimes a side of consommé (the cooking broth) for additional flavor and moisture.

This dish is particularly popular in regions like Jalisco and the state of Tijuana, where it has gained widespread recognition for its rich taste and tenderness. It’s celebrated for its robust flavors, tender texture, and versatility, making it a beloved and cherished part of Mexican cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this dish appeals to: Those seeking a comforting and savory beef stew, individuals interested in exploring traditional Mexican cuisine.
  • Estimated duration: A culinary journey that takes approximately 2.5-3 hours, including preparation and slow cooking.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-packed dish featuring the goodness of beef and a variety of aromatic spices.

About this Recipe

Birria de Res is a dish that requires patience and love. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld and the beef to become tender. This recipe provides a guide to crafting a memorable Birria de Res.


For the Birria:

  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into chunks
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 dried ancho chilies, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves

For Serving:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Diced white onion
  • Lime wedges


Preparing Birria de Res:

  1. Prepare Chilies:
  • In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the dried guajillo and ancho chilies for a few seconds on each side until they become fragrant.
  • Remove from heat and soak the chilies in hot water for 15-20 minutes to soften.
  1. Create Chili Paste:
  • In a blender, combine the soaked chilies, chopped onion, minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, salt, and black pepper.
  • Blend until you have a smooth chili paste.
  1. Sear Beef:
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the beef chunks until they are browned on all sides.
  1. Add Chili Paste and Broth:
  • Pour the chili paste over the seared beef, ensuring it’s well-coated.
  • Add beef broth and bay leaves to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-2.5 hours or until the beef is tender.

Serving Birria de Res:

  1. Shred Beef:
  • Once the beef is tender, use forks to shred it directly in the pot. Discard any large pieces of fat.
  1. Serve Hot:
  • Ladle the Birria de Res into bowls.
  • Serve hot with warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges on the side.

Serving Suggestions

  • Dip tortillas in the flavorful broth or use them to make tacos.
  • Top with diced radishes for a refreshing crunch.
  • Pair with Mexican rice and refried beans for a complete meal.

Storage Options

Birria de Res can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a bit of water or broth to maintain the consistency of the stew.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Guajillo and Ancho Chilies: Substitute with other dried chili varieties based on your spice preference.
  • Beef Stew Meat: Use a mix of beef cuts like chuck roast or brisket for added flavor.

Alternatives to this Dish

Experiment with different spices and herbs to create a personalized version of Birria de Res. Adding a splash of vinegar or achiote paste can provide additional depth of flavor.


Birria de Res is a celebration of rich flavors and slow-cooked perfection. This Mexican beef stew invites you to savor the warmth and comfort of traditional cuisine, making it a standout dish for gatherings and family meals. ¬°Buen provecho!