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Beef Birria Recipe

Birria is usually made with goat’s meat or even with lamb or a combination of several types of meat. Cooking time using the Instant Pot or Pressure cooker. The use of a combination of meats is common in restaurants or local Birria eateries known as “Birrierias”. Beef Birria is more like a homemade version since beef is more accessible everywhere.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 474kcal


  • 2 lbs. Beef Oxtail from RUMBA MEATS
  • 2 lbs. Beef Cheek*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Ancho Peppers
  • 6 Guajillo Peppers
  • 2 Large roasted tomatoes
  • 4 Whole cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ Teaspoon Marjoram
  • ½ Medium-size white onion sliced
  • 1- in of stick of Mexican cinnamon
  • ½ Cup white vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  • 2/3 Cup chopped Cilantro or 1/4 Cup of dried oregano
  • 2/3 Cup chopped white onion
  • Lime wedges


  • Season the meat with salt and pepper, then place in a large baking dish.
  • Clean and devein the peppers. Slightly toast them over a medium heat, making sure you do not burn them (burned peppers make the dish taste bitter). Soak peppers in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Roast the onion and garlic and place in your blender.
  • Toast the whole cloves, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns (this is a quick step that only takes a few seconds). Place them in your blender along with the roasted tomatoes, herbs, onion, cinnamon and the vinegar.
  • Once peppers are soft, drain, add to the blender and puree until you have a smooth sauce. Add a few tablespoons of water only if your blender is having a hard time processing it. Season the sauce with salt.
  • Pour the sauce over the meat, making sure it is covered all over with the salsa. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours to allow all the meat to absorb the flavors.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Bake the meat in the baking dish covered with the aluminum foil for about 4 hours or until it is fork-tender.

Serve the warm meat with its broth in bowls and garnish with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas and a hot salsa.


    • Some cooks also like to add a ¼ of an inch of ginger root.
    • You can also cook this dish in a slow cooker if you do not want to make the oven version. It will take 6-8 hours in the slow cooker. 
    • COOKING TIMES: Baking time 4 hours. You can even make it in an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker. For the Instant Pot, cook for 45 minutes, and add the sauce to the meat. Cook for 5 more minutes in the manual setting. Check meat tenderness, if it is easy to shred then you are set to go. But, if the meat is still a little hard to shred, extend the cooking time to 10-15 minutes more.  If using a Slow Cooker, cook for 6 hours in the low setting. The one hour time given above is using the instant pot or pressure cooker.


    Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 265mg | Sodium: 930mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4520IU | Vitamin C: 12.8mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 10.7mg