This Slow Cooker Birria Tacos recipe will blow your mind. It’s so good.
We are always looking to switch things up for Taco Tuesdays with a new recipe. I’m excited to share my version of Birria Tacos. I realize that I am SUPER late to the Birria game, haha. But, I honestly didn’t really have any interest in making them until now. And let’s just say that I am happy that I decided to. This Slow Cooker birria Taco recipe is packed with so many amazing flavors and is super easy to make. There are quite a few ingredients involved but once you have everything you’re pretty much all set.
WHAT IS BIRRIA?
Birria is a Mexican dish traditionally made from either goat or lamb but beef is usually used because it is more accessible. The meat is cooked until it’s super tender and falling apart in a rich broth made from chilies, onions, garlic, tomatoes and spices. Birria is commonly served inside tacos or quesadillas, burritos and nachos.
WHAT ARE SOME KEY INGREDIENTS IN THIS RECIPE?
- Beef – Boneless beef chuck roast is used in this recipe. This cut of meat comes from the front portion of the cow. It’s a tougher meat perfect for slow cooking over a long period of time. As a result, the cut has time to break down and become nice and tender. Chuck Roast is classically used for pot roasts since it’s ideal for braising and stewing.
- Dried chilies – While there are tons of variations of chilies used in different recipes I use a combination of guajillo, ancho, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and chile de arbol.
- Veggies/Spices: Amazing flavors from the onion, cinnamon, black peppercorns, garlic, ground cumin, ground cloves,bay leaves.
WHERE CAN I FIND DRIED CHILI PEPPERS?
Dried chilies can be found at any Mexican market as well as many grocery stores in either the Mexican aisle or produce section. If you can’t find them or simply want a one-click option, then you can purchase them on Amazon. Keep in mind that each package of chili peppers contains quite a few and they last about a year, so don’t worry about them going to waste, you can certainly use them for other recipes.
HOW DO I REMOVE THE SEEDS FROM THE CHILI PEPPERS?
The easiest way I’ve found to remove the seeds is to cut the tops off of the chilies with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Next, cut the chilies along one edge and open them like a book to expose the seeds inside. Then, scrape out all of the seeds and set aside.
- Please don’t touch your eyes and face while you’re deseeding the chili peppers because your face will burn. I usually like to wear gloves to help prevent this from happening.
- Sear ALL sides of each piece of beef until a nice golden crust forms. Be sure to sear the beef in batches so it will sear and not just steam.
- Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, avocado oil or canola oil to sear the beef. DO NOT use olive oil. Olive oil has a lower smoking point and will burn leaving behind a yucky taste.
- I recommend using a cast iron or non-stick skillet. Do not use stainless steel or any other type of pan or the tortillas will stick to the bottom.
WHAT IS OAXACA CHEESE?
Oaxaca cheese is a white semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. Oaxaca cheese is a round-shape curd cheese that has a buttery flavor. The next best alternative to oaxaca cheese is mozzarella cheese.
CAN I MAKE THE BIRRIA AHEAD OF TIME?
YES! It can be made a day in advance since it requires a couple of hours of braising. Then the next day you can make the Birria Tacos. This makes the overall process easier rather than trying to get it all done in one day.
Questions about this Slow Cooker Birria Tacos? Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments below! Tag me #chefelizabethreese on Instagram, I’d love to see your creations!
Slow Cooker Birria Tacos
- 2½ lbs Beef Chuck Roast
- 3 Dried Guajillo Peppers, Deseeded and stems cut
- 4 Dried Arbol Peppers, Deseeded and stems cut
- 3 Dried Ancho Peppers, Deseeded and stems cut
- 3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (Just the peppers)
- 1 White Onion, Cut in half
- 1 14.5oz Can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes with the juice
- 2 Tablespoon Canola Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 32oz Beef Broth
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, as needed
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cumin
- ½ Teaspoon Whole Cloves
- 2 Teaspoons Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorn
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 lb Shredded Oaxaca Cheese (Can also use Mozzarella)
- 12-15 Flour or Corn Street Tacos
- Chopped Cilantro for Garnish
- Chopped White Onion for Garnish
For the Beef
- Cut the beef into large pieces. Pat the beef dry and generously season all sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef in an even layer and sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with remaining beef. Do not overcrowd the pan.
For the Sauce
- In a large pot; add the dried peppers, onion, cloves, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and garlic cloves together. Then fill with enough water to cover everything.
- Boil everything together over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. The onion should be tender and the peppers should be soft.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions, cloves, peppers, and garlic into a blender. Discard the water and remaining bits left in the pot including the cinnamon stick. Add in the chipotle peppers, tomatoes and 2 cups of the beef stock into the blender. Blend the mixture together until completely smooth. Set aside.
- In a crock pot add the liquid from the blender, and the remaining beef stock, sugar, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, apple cider vinegar and bay leaves. Mix well. Add the meat to the crock-pot and cover. Cook on high for about 4 hours until the meat is nice and tender.
For the Tacos
- Transfer the cooked beef to a large wood cutting board and shred with two forks. Taste and season to taste.
- Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Starting with one tortilla at a time, dip it into the top of the sauce and add it to the skillet. Press the tortilla down with a spatula because it will start to bubble and pull away as it cooks. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom is golden.
- Flip the tortilla over and immediately cover the entire surface with shredded cheese then add some of the shredded meat. Pour some of the birria consomé on top if you’d like (not too much because you don’t want the taco to become soggy). Cook until the bottom is lightly charred then fold the tortilla over in half to form a taco.
- Transfer to a plate and serve with the chopped cilantro, onion and a bowl of the consomé liquid (remaining broth) as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!