Easy Dutch Oven Beef Birria Recipe

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Have you ever wanted to try cooking birria but been too intimidated by the thought of it? Well, I have the perfect recipe for you – this easy Dutch oven beef birria recipe is fail-proof and can be made in just a few simple steps. So get your Dutch oven out, and let’s get cooking!

Birria recipe in bowl with jalapenos and lemons and limes

What Is Birria?

Birria de res is a rich, smoky stew traditionally made with goat meat and roasted chiles. However, as the popularity of Birria tacos has exploded in recent years, beef has taken the place of goat meat in most recipes.

Birria has its origins in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, where working-class people, mainly shepherds, would enjoy this hearty stew as a staple dinner. Thankfully, in modern times, its popularity and influence can be seen worldwide.

Key Ingredients In This Recipe:

You’ll need meat (beef, lamb, chicken, or goat) and dried chili peppers to make authentic Birria. The chiles are easy to find at local grocery stores or Mexican markets. They’re also available on Amazon: Guajillo peppers, Ancho, New Mexican Chile, Chile de árbol.

Chiles:

  • Chile Guajillo: sweet and smokey
  • Chile Ancho: mild and smokey
  • Chile Nuevo Mexico: mild and sweet
  • Chile de árbol: Spicy
  • Ancho chiles: (optional & not shown)
chiles for birria recipe including guajillo, ancho, nuevo mexico, and chile de arbol
Roasted chiles ready to have the seeds removed.

Meat:

I’m using a 3 lb. chuck roast for this recipe, but you can use any cut of meat you’d like. Keep an eye out for well-marbled beef. Rib-eyes have a bit too much fat for my taste, while chuck roast and short ribs have the perfect ratio of fat to protein.

sliced chuck roast for birria recipe
Chuck roast cut into 4 manageable pieces.

If you don’t want to use beef, you can use chicken, goat, pork, or lamb meat. If you can find goat meat, go that route, as it’s the authentic way to cook Birria. You can also make vegetarian Birria by swapping the beef with tempeh, tofu, or vegetarian meat.

What You’ll Need

I find that most Birria recipes are far too complex. My recipe makes things as simple as possible for you by cutting out unnecessary ingredients and steps.

birria recipe ingredients

Here Are the Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 3 lbs. of beef 
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 2 Mexico new chiles
  • 1 chile de árbol
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 large tomatoes (or 16 oz canned tomatoes)
  • 4 cups beef or chicken stock 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or cinnamon stick)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 3 bay leaves

Note: If you can’t find the dried chilies listed above, use 6-8 tablespoons of standard chili powder. You’ll still get a tasty beef stew, but it will end up tasting more like classic Chili than Birria.

Here’s the Equipment You’ll Need:


Which Dutch Oven Should I Use to Make Birria?

I use a Le Creuset dutch oven. Le Creuset is a French brand that makes stunning, high-quality cookware. And their line of dutch ovens does an incredible job at evenly cooking food. Le Creuset isn’t cheap, but they do have cookware that fits most budgets.

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How To Make Birria:

Follow these simple steps to make this classic Mexican beef stew that’s packed with flavor and incredibly tender meat.

Step 1: Prepare The Dried Chiles

Slice open the dried chiles and discard the seeds. Next, chop the chile shells into 2-inch pieces.

Add the dried chiles to your dutch oven and cook for a few minutes over medium-low heat (with no oil) until they give off an aroma.

sauteing chile peppers for birria recipe

Note: Don’t cook the chiles for too long or over too high of heat. The chiles can burn easily, and the capsaicin in the peppers will give you a coughing fit.

Step 2: Saute Garlic, Onions & Tomatoes

Remove the roasted peppers from the dutch oven and place them in a small bowl for later use. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil to your dutch oven and increase the heat to medium-high.

Slice one medium yellow or white onion with a mandoline veggie slicer or a sharp knife. Next, finely chop or smash 6-10 garlic cloves. Add the onions and the garlic to the hot oil and cook until the onions are translucent (about 8-10 minutes).

Cut 3 large tomatoes into quarters and add them to the onions and garlic. Place the cover on your dutch oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Note: If you don’t have tomatoes, feel free to use a 16 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.

Step 3: Blend Everything

Turn off the heat and transfer the onions, tomatoes, and garlic to your blender. Next, toss in the peppers you just roasted.

Next, add 1 tablespoon of each of the following spices: cumin powder, dried Mexican Oregano, ginger, cinnamon, and a few ground cloves.

Pour 2 cups of beef or chicken stock on top of everything. Carefully blend for 1 minute until the contents are entirely smooth.

Note: Be very careful when blending hot ingredients (the vegetables) in your blender as they’ll expand with the heat. Keep the blender lid pressed firmly down with one hand until you’re sure the mixture isn’t going to expand further. You can then let it blend on its own for a minute.

Step 4: Sear the Meat

Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cut your beef into 3 or 4 large pieces. Generously season one side of the meat with salt and pepper.

seared beef in dutch oven for birria recipe

Once the oil is hot enough, add your meat, salt-and-pepper-side-down. You should hear loud popping and sizzling. Cook this side for 5 minutes and then flip and cook the other side for 5 more minutes.

Step 5: Add the Blender Contents to the Meat

Now that you’ve locked in the meat’s flavor by searing it, it’s time to add the birria sauce you just made in the blender.

Pour the contents of the blender over the meat. Next, add 2 more cups of beef broth and 3 bay leaves and gently stir the contents. Place the lid on your dutch oven and set the heat to low. Set a timer for 4-6 hours.

Note: If you don’t have beef broth handy, you can make your own by mixing 4 cups of water with a few heaping tablespoons of beef bouillon concentrate.

Step 6: Garnish & Enjoy!

My favorite toppings for Birria stew are Mexican Pickled Red Onions, fresh avocados, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and a few lemon wedges or lime wedges.

birria recipe with garnishes of avocado, pickled red onion, and jalapeno.

Using corn tortillas or flour tortillas, you can make simple Birria Tacos. Start by dipping your tortilla in the birria consomme and then fill it with birria meat and cheese. Next, pan-fry the folded tortilla (taco) in oil for a minute on each side.


How Do I Serve My Birria?

Birria can be served in many ways, besides just as a stew. A trendy dish in the United States is Quesabirria Tacos. Check out my very own Instant Pot Birria Tacos recipe.

You can also use the leftover birria for enchiladas, burritos, tortas, taco salads, nachos, and more. As always, I recommend garnishing everything with Oaxaca cheese, lime juice, and Mexican pickled red onions. Remember, the sky is the limit with Birria!

mexican pickled red onions for birria recipe garnish
My very own pickled red onion recipe! They’re so good.

Can I Make Birria in a Crock Pot?

Yes, you can make fantastic Crock-Pot Birria. Follow the same steps in this recipe but use a large skillet to prep all your ingredients instead of a dutch oven. When ready, pour everything into your slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours.

Can I Make Birria in My Instant Pot?

You can make amazing Instant Pot Birria by following my simple recipe.

Faster isn’t always better, though. While it only takes 45 minutes to cook Birria in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you don’t end up with the same rich broth that comes by cooking low and slow in a dutch oven.

How Do I Store My Birria?

You can store your birria in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can store your birria in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag, and it’ll stay fresh for 3-4 months.

My family uses a FoodSaver to store food in the freezer. The FoodSaver removes all air from the bag and heat seals it, removing the possibility of freezer burn.

You can reheat your birria in the microwave or in a large pot on the stove.


The Recipe Card

birria recipe main

Easy Dutch Oven Beef Birria Recipe

Have you ever wanted to try cooking birria but been too intimidated by the thought of it? Well, I have the perfect recipe for you – this easy Dutch oven beef birria recipe is fail-proof and can be made in just a few simple steps. So get your Dutch oven out, and let’s get cooking!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 20 mins
Yield: 6 people

Ingredients

Meat

  • 3 lbs chuck roast

Vegetables

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion - (chopped)
  • 6 garlic cloves - (peeled and diced)
  • 3 large tomatoes (quartered) - (substitute 28 ounce canned tomatoes)

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 cups beef stock

Instructions

  • Prepare The Dried Chiles: Slice open the dried chiles and discard the seeds. Next, chop the chile shells into 2-inch pieces. Add the dried chiles to your dutch oven and cook for a few minutes over medium-low heat (with no oil) until they give off an aroma.
  • Saute Garlic, Onions & Tomatoes: Remove the roasted peppers from the dutch oven and place them in a small bowl for later use. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil to your dutch oven and increase the heat to medium-high.
    Slice one medium yellow or white onion with a mandoline veggie slicer or a sharp knife. Next, finely chop or smash 6-10 garlic cloves. Add the onions and the garlic to the hot oil and cook until the onions are translucent (about 8-10 minutes).
    Cut 3 large tomatoes into quarters and add them to the onions and garlic. Place the cover on your dutch oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Blend Everything: Turn off the heat and transfer the onions, tomatoes, and garlic to your blender. Next, toss in the peppers you just roasted.
    Next, add 1 tablespoon of each of the following spices: cumin powder, dried Mexican Oregano, ginger, cinnamon, and a few ground cloves.
    Pour 2 cups of beef or chicken stock on top of everything. Carefully blend for 1 minute until the contents are entirely smooth.
  • Sear the Meat: Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cut your beef into 3 or 4 large pieces. Generously season one side of the meat with salt and pepper.
    Once the oil is hot enough, add your meat, salt-and-pepper-side-down. You should hear loud popping and sizzling. Cook this side for 5 minutes and then flip and cook the other side for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the Blender Contents to the Meat: Now that you’ve locked in the meat’s flavor by searing it, it’s time to add the birria sauce you just made in the blender.
    Pour the contents of the blender over the meat. Next, add 2 more cups of beef broth and 3 bay leaves and gently stir the contents. Place the lid on your dutch oven and set the heat to low. Set a timer for 4-6 hours.
  • Garnish & Enjoy!: My favorite toppings for Birria stew are Mexican Pickled Red Onions, fresh avocados, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and a few lemon wedges or lime wedges.

Your Own Notes

Nutritional Information

Serving: 2cups, Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 120mg, Potassium: 570mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1576IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 3mg

The Golden Lamb provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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I hope it was an easy recipe for you to follow! If you think this is the best recipe for birria, or if you have any other feedback, I’d love to hear from you! 

-Kelsey

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