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Beef Birria

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


  • Cup chopped Cilantro or ¼ Cup of dried oregano
  • 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 this sauce of dried peppers and spices. 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. SEE NOTES about adding more water.
  • 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 a hot salsa. Any leftover Birria will be great the next day to make Birria Quesadilals.


    •  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.
    • To make it with a brothy consommé, add 6 cups of water, extra. If you only want it for tacos, it is not necessary. The meat and sauce you already have will suffice. First, you add 4 cups, and if it is too thick for your taste, add the other two.
    • • 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