Tijuana Style – Birria Beef Tacos

Birria is a traditional plate in Western Mexico, most commonly as a stew of goat or lamb but also prepared with beef and chicken. It has a hearty, tangy & spicy flavor and legend says it can cure any hangover.


  • 1 Ancho dry pepper
  • 2 Guajillo dry peppers
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 pounds of short ribs with bone
  • Spices (1/2 tsp old spice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tblsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/3 cup of apple vinegar

For tacos:

  • Tortillas
  • Cheese for melting (Mozzarella, Gouda, Manchego)
  • Chopped onion / cilantro
  • Limes
  • Hot sauce or guacamole


  • Boil dry peppers until soft, clean them to remove the seeds and veins, reserve water.
  • Chop coarsely onions, garlic, and tomatoes, add them in the blender with the peppers and the water where they boiled.
  • Add spices and vinegar, blend for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Prepare short ribs by removing extra fat from the meat side, and removing the white membrane from the bone side, cut a little with a sharp knife then with a wet towel pull to remove it. (This tissue will harden up and it won’t add any flavor)
  • In a pressure cooker or Instant Pot cut the ribs in between the bones, then add the blended sauce.
  • Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove meat and reserve, you would be able to remove bones so easily.
  • With a strainer separate the broth and reserve the chili paste that remains on the strainer (don’t throw it away).
  • It’s better if you let the broth cool off for a few hours and put it in the freezer, this will allow the fat to form a coat on the top of the broth so it can be easily removed. (Again DON’T throw this away).

Birria Tacos:

  • Chop finely the meat and put it on a big pan with a bit of the fat of the broth, then mix it with the chili paste until everything is integrated.
  • In another pan melt some of the broth fat then add a tortilla and some cheese on top of it, add a generous amount of meat, then when the tortilla is a little bit crunchy remove it and fold it.
  • Serve them with chopped onion, cilantro, some lime juice and don’t forget to warm up a cup of broth, you can enjoy it with some lime juice and add some chopped onion and cilantro also.


Author: F. Guerra

Foodie, amateur cook/baker & a spicy food lover with a sweet tooth.

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