Beef Recipes/ Crock Pot / Slow Cooker/ Meals

Slow Cooker Birria Tacos {Shredded Beef}

Juicy Slow Cooker Birria Tacos {Shredded Beef} filled with spicy shredded beef, fried and melted cheese, cilantro, and onions in a fried corn tortilla and dipped in stewed beef consommé. An authentic Mexican flavor with real deep flavors that will have you making this classic Mexican dish over and over again. Quesabirria tacos are our go to recipe to make in the crock pot on Sunday.

For more beef recipes, try this slow cooker beef stew or these juicy steak bites next.

Slow Cooker Birria Tacos served on a wooden platter with cilantro, sauce, limes, and onions.

These spicy, savory, chili laden Slow Cooker Birria Tacos {Shredded Beef} have a deep, smoky flavor and are cooked until the meat is fall apart tender, and juicy. They are sure to impress and are just the perfect meal for your family or to serve at your next get together. I had my very first Birria taco is New Orleans at a restaurant called Tacos and Beer. Since then, I’ve enjoyed them all throughout Mexico as well.

What is a Birria Taco

How does a birria taco differ from a regular taco? In Birria tacos, the tortilla is filled with stewed meat, slow cooked in a pot on the stovetop, oven, or crock pot in a barrage of chiles and spices. The very name “birria” means exquisite savory dish, full of culture and tradition, and is a traditional and classic Mexican dish. It is only recently that it has exploded in popularity in the United States. Traditionally, it is made with a mixture of lamb, and pork, but in the United States, it is commonly made with beef from a cow.

Traditionally, tacos in Mexico are made with beef, pork, veal, lamb, or chicken. Carne Asada tacos are typically made with beef, cilantro, onions, freshly squeezed lime juice, plus a super spicy sauce or salsa. In the United States, ground beef is used with a Mexican seasoning made with cumin., Flour tortilla shells are filled with ground chuck beef, cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and green lettuce. Birria Tacos are very different than typical tacos you’ll find on restaurant menus. They are very famous across social media for a reason. They are unbelievably delicious and tasty and a cross between a quesadilla and taco.

Shredded Beef Birria Tacos. Shredded chuck roast on a wooden cutting board. Topped with cilantro.

How to Make Birria Tacos

  1. Prepare all the peppers by cutting the tops and removing the seeds.
  2. Blend spices, and tomatoes together until smooth.
  3. Place beef chuck roast in crockpot.
  4. Pour in birria sauce and water.
  5. Add bay leaves, and vegetable oil.
  6. Slow cook on low for 10 hours or until fork tender.
  7. Shred beef in bowl.
  8. Pour in a little of the stewed juices.
  9. Dip tortilla in sauce and fry or place shredded cheese on corn tortilla, flip and fry the cheese on the skillet.
  10. Top with shredded beef, quesadilla cheese, cilantro, onions, and lime juice.
  11. Serve with a bowl of the stewed beef consommé.
Birria Tacos  in a stack on a wooden cutting board with cilantro, onions, and sauce all in bowls with slices of limes.

Ingredients in Birria Tacos

Meat: I use beef chuck roast. Brisket or a sirloin roast may also be used. The meat will be tender after slow cooking and fall apart nicely. This recipe calls for chuck roast. I love this cut of meat because it soaks up all the simple and complex flavors. If you love heat, you will love this dish

Peppers: I use a variety of peppers such as ancho, guajillo, and arbol chile peppers. These peppers can be found at most Mexican grocery stores, or online. They are dried peppers and not fresh produce..

Spices: Whole round black peppercorns, a cinnamon stick (you’ll need a food processor for this one, or it can be shaved with a food grater) chili powder, cumin, paprika, bay leaves, and garlic bring several layers of taste to this delicious taco.

Vegetables: Roma tomatoes, and onion.

Citrus: Freshly squeezed lemon juice just at the end of cooking compliments the stew very well. In addition, I like to squeeze lime juice on my tacos before serving. The citrus flavor brightens up the flavors well and help to cut through some of the heat. I highly recommend using lime juice to top it all off.

Cheese: A variety of cheeses may be used here. First, if you can find quesadilla cheese shredded I’d stick with that. My second option is oaxaca cheese. It melts very nicely. Other cheeses to use should be soft white melting cheeses such as quesadilla queso cheese, asadero cheese, or mozzarella cheese. In addition, I like to fry the tortilla shells with cheese. Cacique brand cheese has all of these flavor cheeses available.

Tortilla: I use corn tortillas. I enjoy the fresh flavor of white or yellow corn. Typically, corn tortillas are smaller than large flour tortillas. Use either corn or flour tortillas for this recipe.

Crock Pot Birria Tacos with a bite in the front showing the toppings of cilantro, onions, and lime juice. Laid in a bowl of stewed beef sauce.

Making the Shell Crispy

Birria tacos have a signature crispy shell. To achieve this, in a nonstick pan, oil the pan, lay down the tortilla, top it with shredded cheese, flip it, let it get nice and golden brown and crunchy. Top the upward facing side with shredded beef, cilantro, onion, and lime juice then fold it in half.

Some people like to dip the tortilla shell in the sauce and fry both sides until it’s nice and crispy then load it with shredded beef, cheese, and toppings. This is another way to do it but I had trouble with the corn tortillas sticking to the pan.

Meats to Use in Tacos

Typically, birria tacos are made with lamb or goat meat in Mexico. However, since becoming famous in the United States, they are typically made with beef brisket, beef chuck roast, or a beef sirloin roast.

I have even made it on the stove top in 2 hours with a similar amount of chicken breast. All these versions are very delicious. Use whichever meat you prefer.

Birria tacos served on a platter with stewed birria sauce. Second image shows the shredded beef on a cutting board.

Other Mexican Recipes You’ll Love

Slow Cooker Birria Tacos {Shredded Beef}

Slow Cooker Birria Tacos {Shredded Beef} filled with spicy shredded beef, fried and melted cheese, cilantro, and onions in a fried corn tortilla and dipped in stewed beef consommé. An authentic Mexican flavor with real deep flavors that will have you making this classic Mexican dish over and over again. Quesabirria tacos are our go to recipe to make in the crock pot on Sunday.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: birria tacos, crock pot birria tacos, slow cooker birria tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 874kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ancho chile peppers (dried, seeds removed)
  • 4 guajillo chile peppers (dried, seeds removed)
  • 2 chiles de arbol (optional for spice)
  • 7 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 white onion (roughly chopped)
  • 4 roma tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20 black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • lemons (juiced)
  • 16 oz oaxaca cheese (see notes for other variations)
  • corn tortillas
  • 3 limes (juiced)

Instructions

  • Cut chile tops off and remove the seeds with a knife or spoon.
  • In a food processor, combine chiles, garlic cloves, white onion, roma tomatoes, cinnamon stick, peppercorn, chili powder, cumin, and paprika.
  • Blend or pulse until ingredients are nearly smooth and well blended.
  • Place beef chuck roast in crock pot.
  • Pour in birria sauce mixture.
  • Add 1 cup water to the top.
  • Add in 2 bay leaves and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • Slow cook on low for 10 hours or until fork tender.
  • Shred meat in a bowl using two forks.
  • Add 1 cup birria sauce from the slow cooker to the bowl. Save the remaining sauce for later.
  • To prepare the tacos, add a corn tortilla to a medium hot skillet.
  • Birria tacos have a signature crispy shell. To achieve this, in a nonstick pan, oil the pan, lay down the tortilla, top it with shredded cheese, flip it, let it get nice and golden brown and crunchy. Top the upward facing side with shredded beef, cilantro, onion, and lime juice then fold it in half.
  • Pour slow cooker sauce into a bowl and serve tacos with sauce to dip it into.

Nutrition

Calories:874kcal | Carbohydrates:31g | Protein:72g | Fat:54g | Saturated Fat:30g | Polyunsaturated Fat:4g | Monounsaturated Fat:16g | Trans Fat:2g | Cholesterol:210mg | Sodium:944mg | Potassium:1642mg | Fiber:11g | Sugar:14g | Vitamin A:8807IU | Vitamin C:31mg | Calcium:147mg | Iron:9mg

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