Birria de Res


Sundays in Mexico for me meant eating comfort food around the table with my family. Growing up in a family where food was always the most important thing left me with wonderful Mexican food memories and eating birria on a Sunday morning was one of them.

My dad used to get up early to get the birria from this famous place in Ensenada. He used to arrive home with the takeaway boxes and the smell would wake us up, everybody would gather around the table while my mum and him would set everything for us to eat. My dad’s face would light up to see us enjoying a delicious taco or bowl of birria and when he used to feel quite generous and had some time to spare, he used to make the birria himself, but that would only happened in special occasions.

In fact, birria is a dish that I consider as one of those Mexican recipes that are on the celebration dishes list as it takes a long time to prepare. My dad said that slow cooking is the key for a great beef birria and he definitely knew what he was talking about, the longer you cook the meat, the tender it gets.

So this recipe, although is quite easy, it does take a long time to be cooked. I cook the brisket the day before, as I put it in the oven for a few hours, to let the meat develop great flavour and get super tender. But don’t get put off by the time, because when the birria is done, you will love it.

Let me know what you think about this recipe. Remember that your feedback is important for me.


Karlita x

Birria de Res

Servings 6 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs


  • dutch oven (cast iron pot)


To cook the brisket

  • 1 Kg beef brisket in one piece, with a bit of fat
  • 2 bone marrow optional
  • 2 tomato medium, cut in halves
  • 1 white onion peeled, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tbsp maldon salt
  • water to cover the piece of brisket

To make the birria

  • 4 guajillo chillies cleaned, deseeded, stem of
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp marjoram optional
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt if needed

To garnish

  • 1 cup fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 cup white onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup spicy salsa fresly made
  • 2 limes cut in wedges

To make quesabirrias

  • corn tortillas freshly made
  • 2 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1 cup birria stock


To cook the brisket

  • Preheat the oven to 200° C, 400° F, gas mark 6. Place the piece of brisket in a large cast iron casserole (dutch oven), add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, bone marrow (optional) and cover with water, put the lid on.
  • Place the casserole in the oven and cook the brisket to 200° for 20 min. Then lower the temperature to 150° C, 300° F, gas mark 2 and cook for 2 hrs or until the brisket is very tender. Make sure that it does not ran out of water. The water will become the consome for the birria.
  • Once the brisket is tender and the broth still hot, place the guajillo chillies that have been previously cleaned, deseeded and stem of, in the broth for 15 minutes to soften. If you cook the brisket the day before, just heat the meat again in low on the hob and then place the guajillos.
  • While the guajillos are softening, take the brisket out and remove the fat, then shred with the help of two forks, this step should be very easy, as the brisket should be very tender.
  • Once the brisket has been shredded, chop it slightly to avoid having long bits of brisket. Set aside.
  • By now, remove the bone marrow and discard or leave them in the stock and have them with the birria.
  • When the guajillos are soften, remove them from the broth and place them in a high speed blender, then add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and all the spices (dried, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, etc), add two laddles of broth and blend until getting a very smooth sauce.
  • Pass this sauce through a sieve and add it to the broth, then add the shredded brisket and cook for 15 minutes to low/medium heat. Let it simmer gently. Check if it need more salt. If it does, add some.
  • There are a few ways to eat birria:
    1. In a bowl with some broth, coriander, onion, spicy salsa and lime juice.
    2. In a taco, put some shredded brisket in a taco, add some pinto beans (optional), fresh coriander, chopped onion, spicy salsa and a squeeze of lime.
    3. In a quesabirria, heat a tortilla on a non-stick frying pan, add the mozzarella cheese on top of the tortilla and some birria brisket. Take the quesabirria and drench it in the birria broth and place on the frying pan to finish of. Add coriander, onion, spicy salsa. My favourite way!
  • Enjoy this lovely recipe with some freshly cooked pinto beans and some cervecitas. Share it with some friends and family.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican food, comfort food, beef, birria

I would love to hear if you liked this recipe, tag me on social media #mexicanfoodmemories to see your creations. And if you want to learn to make this recipe and more, join me in one of my Mexican Cooking Classes.



Join the Conversation

  1. Silly question – lid on or off in the oven?

    1. Lid on all the way! 😉

  2. Milena Valeva says:

    Is vinegar added to the birria dish?

    1. Hi Milena,
      I don’t add vinegar to my recipe, but I know some recipes do go with vinegar.

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