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5 from 18 votes

Easy Birria Tacos

These Birria tacos are cooked in a mix of cascabel, guajillo and chipotle peppers for the ultimate rich and smokey fork-tender taco filling. They're fried in the beef fat until golden brown and served with extra broth on the side for dipping.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Pressure release 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 600kcal
Cost $25/20€


  • 1 kg chuck beef fat left on

Beef Spice Rub

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano or Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or Oaxacan cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 pc bay leaf

Adobe Marinade

  • 2 whole red onions peeled
  • 6 pc garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 450 ml liquid from rehydrated peppers or chicken or beef stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 whole cascabel peppers
  • 2 whole guajillo peppers

For the Pepper Salsa (Optional)

  • 2 whole cascabel peppers
  • 2 whole guajillo peppers
  • 3-4 pc roma tomatoes extra ripe
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt (or more if you'd like)


  • Remove the tops of the dried peppers with scissors and empty out the seeds. If you like it extra spicy, leave the seeds in.
  • Rehydrate the dried peppers by putting them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes.
    (If you plan to make the salsa, you can soak all 8 peppers now).
    rehydrating the peppers in boiling water
  • Cut the meat into small cubes and mix with spice rub. If you plan to cook this now, season the meat with about 1 tsp of salt.
    Meat for the birria tacos
  • Make the adobo sauce by blending all of the ingredients for the sauce together with the 4 hydrated peppers. Blend with the pepper soaking water.
    Blending the adobo sauce
  • If you are marinating overnight, let this sauce cool completely before adding it to the meat. Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.
    If you plan to make this now, add this sauce to the seasoned beef and mix. Add to this to Instant Pot.
    Adding the meat to the adobo sauce
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set the timer for 40 minutes on high pressure.
    (If using a Dutch Oven or Slow cooker see above for the method)
  • Optional: While the meat is cooking, make the chili salsa by frying the tomatoes, onions and garlic over low heat in a cast iron pan for about 5 minutes.
    Add this plus the rest of the ingredients for the salsa to the blender and blend until smooth.
    Now is a good time to prepare the other taco accompaniments (guacamole, cheese, onions, herbs, etc).
    Cooking the ingredients for the salsa in a pan
  • Once the timer goes off for the Instant pot let it naturally release for 10 minutes and manually release the rest.
    Let the beef sit in the broth for about 10 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top.
  • Remove the beef from the broth with a spider strainer and shred with a fork.
    Removing the beef from the broth and shredding it with a fork
  • To make the tacos, dip the tacos in the beef fat on the top of the broth, and fill them with the braised meat, salsa and cheese if desired.
    Assembling the tacos on a board
  • Fold them in half and fry them on both sides on low heat until golden brown.
    Frying the tacos in a cast iron pan.
  • Serve right away with your favourite taco accompaniments and the hot broth on the side to dip the tacos in. Enjoy!
    The finished birria tacos on a board with all the fixings.


This recipe is inspired by Birria Landia food truck in NYC and chef Francisco Ruano of Restaurante Alcalde in Jalisco, Mexico.


Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 1707mg | Potassium: 944mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3704IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 8mg
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