Cheesy Birria Tacos (Quesabirria)
Cheesy, crispy, beef birria tacos to serve alongside consommé! This recipe makes the best food truck-style birria tacos, starting with homemade birria de res!
It’s finally here – quesabirria!
Golden, crispy tortillas dipped in consomme and pan-fried loaded with shredded tender beef, lots of fresh cilantro, and chopped onions. And alongside our tacos, we’ll serve up a bowlful of homemade consomme. My favorite local food truck spikes the consomme with lots of lime juice, and you bet I’m passing that little secret down to you! The acid in the lime juice helps cut through all that cheesy goodness. This is such a flavor explosion for your mouth!
I like topping mine with pickled onions because it adds both color and flavor, but of course, this is entirely optional!
How do you make birria de res for this recipe?
The first step is to prepare my birria de res (or beef birria meat + consomme.) I’ve crammed lots of information into my post to set you up for success. But essentially, you want to start there. We’ll toast the guajillo, ancho chiles, and chili de Arbol, then we’ll simmer them in a little water to make the chile paste. Blend that up with onions, garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, add spices, like coriander, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, and dried herbs like bay leaves, Mexican oregano, and thyme in a blender to create the simmering liquid for the beef. Then, we’ll sear the beef chuck roast and bone-in short ribs, and let them simmer in the pot or dutch oven for a few hours. You won’t believe how tender the meat is! I’ve also included directions for the instant pot if you wanted to shorten the preparation for the birria meat and consomme.
Ingredients for birria tacos:
- Prepared Birria de Res + Consomme: Here’s my recipe for homemade beef birria and the dipping sauce. You can easily prepare birria de res 2-3 days ahead of time, the flavors are even more pronounced that way! So it’s ideal to cook over the weekend and enjoy these tacos on a weeknight when you want something cozy and delicious for dinner!
- Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas work best for this recipe. You can also use a mix of corn and wheat tortillas. Though after making this recipe about a thousand times, corn tortillas usually hold up much, much better.
- Oil: You’ll need oil to help crisp up the tacos in the frying pan.
- White Onions: Chopped onions are used to stuff inside the quesabirra as well as to stir into the consomme.
- Cilantro: adds a punchy freshness and an herb flavor to the tacos. You’ll need quite a bit of cilantro for this recipe so don’t be shy! If you’re not a fan, you can replace it with parsley if you’d like although cilantro is what gives these the best flavor.
- Oaxaca Cheese: Queso Oaxaca is the best cheese for quesabirria tacos! It’s usually sold in the refrigerated cheese section of most mainstream grocery stores. Living in Texas, we have an abundance of delicious Mexican cheeses at our disposable – it’s definitely one of the biggest perks of being in the South! If you have a Hispanic specialty grocery store, I suggest checking there for some. However, if your grocery store doesn’t carry it, you can swap it with either freshly grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese or pepperjack cheese instead.
- Lime Wedges: You’ll want lots of lime wedges to flavor the consomme with! The acid in the lime will help cut through the fattiness and leave you with the most delicious flavor!
How to make birria tacos:
- Make birria de res. Start by preparing my recipe here. Remember to remove the cinnamon sticks if you added it in whole with the meat.
- Shred and strain. When the meat is tender, remove it from the consomme. Shred the meat using two forks, or meat claws! Keep the shredded beef in a bowl for later. You’ll also want to strain the consomme to get out all the little bits and pieces of spices that may not have blended smoothly. This ensure an ultra-smooth dipping sauce. I also like to remove any additional grease from the consomme. You can do this by using an fat separator if you’re serving the tacos the same day. If you make this in advance, the oil will rise to the top as the birra cools. Once refrigerated, it’ll become a solid that you can easily scoop up and discard. Once the consomme is ready to go, taste and adjust the salt if it need more. Then remove 1½ cups to a dish or small bowl. We’ll use this to dip the corn tortillas in before frying. You’ll want to keep the consomme warm while you prepare the quesabirria.
- Make tacos. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. When the oil is hot. Carefully dip a tortilla in the consomme, then lay it flat in the skillet. Top one side of the tortilla with shredded meat, chopped onions, cilantro, and Oaxaca cheese. Then, carefully fold the other sideover the filling to create a taco. Cook for roughly 60-90 seconds total or until the tortilla is golden and no longer wet on the outside. Remove to a plate and continue cooking the remaining tacos the same way.
- Serve it up. When you’re ready to serve, ladle the consomme into bowls. Squeeze lots of lime juice into the individual bowls (I use way too much and love it that way) and stir in a bit more onions and cilantro into the broth.
FAQs about quesabirria tacos:
- What is a birria taco? A birria taco is the same thing as quesabirria. Quesabirria is a Mexican taco that contains shredded meat, cilantro, onions, and lots of melty cheese (usually Oaxaca cheese.) You dip the tortilla in broth, load it up with the filling, and pan-fry it until golden and lightly crispy. Then, serve this alongside consomme for dipping. Very similar to a quesadilla only it’s dipped in the simmering broth before panfrying.
- What meat is used to make birria tacos? Birra tacos can be made with a variety of meat. Traditionally, goat meat is used to make birria. I use beef because it’s more readily available. But you could also use lamb.
- What cuts of meat are typically used to make birria? You want to use something with bones. I prefer to use bone-in short ribs along with chuck roast. But you could also use beef shank.
- How do you eat birria tacos? You prepare the tacos in a pan and then serve them alongside the dipping sauce just like a french dip sandwich!
- Can birria tacos be made with flour tortillas? You can, and I have a recipe for flour tortillas. But the flavor and texture of corn tortillas works much, much better for this recipe!
- How do you reheat birria tacos? Ideally, you want to try and make only the amount of tacos you can consume in one sitting. Leftover tacos can be reheated in the air fryer at 300ºF for roughly 8-10 minutes or until they heat all the way through.
- Can you freeze the shredded beef and consomme? YES! I like to freeze the consomme in these large containers. I usually shred the beef and freeze in portions in ziptop bags. This way, you can defrost just what you need when the craving hits!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- The BEST Beef Fajitas
- Street Corn Chicken Tacos
- Baja Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Mayo
- Mojo Steak Tacos
- Ancho Chicken Street Tacos
- 1 recipe prepared Birria de Res
- Oil, for cooking
- 18-20 yellow corn tortillas
- 1½ cups white onions, chopped
- ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 ½ cups Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- Lime wedges, for serving
- SHRED: Remove the meat from the consommé. Shred the meat and strain the consommé to make sure you have the smoothest dipping experience.
- STRAIN: Depending on how fatty the cuts you used were, you may also want to use an oil separator to remove the excess grease. Transfer 1 ½ cups of consommé to a bowl wide enough to dip the tortillas in. Keep the remaining consommé warm in the Dutch oven on the lowest heat setting while you prepared the tacos.
- MAKE TACOS: Heat a pan over medium heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, dip a tortilla in the bowl of consommé. Carefully place the tortilla in the hot pan and flip after 15 seconds. Top one side of the tortilla with some of the shredded meat, onions, cilantro, and cheese. Cook for 45 seconds, then fold in half and flip the tortilla over. Cook for another 20-30 seconds and remove from the pan. Repeat with additional tortillas.
- SERVE: Serve the remaining consommé in bowls topped with remaining onions and cilantro. Squeeze in some fresh lime, stir, and enjoy!