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Smoked Birria Tacos

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Smoked Birria Tacos are super delicious and flavorful. The dish features smoked beef chuck roast and short ribs seasoned simply, then slow-smoked, and finished off in the oven with fantastic braising liquid made of chilis and spices. The meat is shredded and made into the best tacos you’ve ever had!

Birria

These smoked birria tacos will satisfy your cravings! Our recipe does not include tomato or garlic cloves. We’ve found that shallots brighten the overall dish, and it’s a great option for those who are tomato and garlic-sensitive and on a gluten-free diet (make sure to check ingredients to confirm if it’s GF). However, you are more than welcome to use garlic 1-2 diced tomatoes in the consomme.

What are birria tacos?

Birria tacos hail from Jalisco, Mexico, and is a dish that includes beef, goat, or lamb that is seasoned with dried chilis, spices, broth, and sometimes vinegar. This meat stew can be enjoyed as is or used to make tacos served with a savory consomme for dipping. These tacos are hugely popular thanks to TikTok and YouTube creators.

How long does it take to make smoked birria tacos:

Plan on 5 hours of cooking time for the meat and 30 minutes to make several tacos. Plan on serving 3 tacos per person using standard-sized corn tortillas.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs (roughly 5-6)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Beef broth ( you can also use beef stock vegetable broth for these smoked birria tacos)
  • Dried chilis: guajillo, ancho, and arbol chilis
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion
  • 3 shallots
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Onion powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Corn tortillas
  • Colby jack cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cilantro
  • Limes

Making it!

Smoking Meat for Birria
  • Prepare your smoker or pellet grill for 225 degrees F. Use cherry or pecan wood for this recipe.
  • Season chuck roast with salt and pepper.
  • Place chuck roast on the smoker, close the lid, and let it cook for an hour.
  • After an hour, it’s time to add the short ribs. Season with salt and pepper, and place on the smoker with the chuck roast. Close the lid and cook both for an hour.

Making the braising liquid

Making the braising liquid for birria tacos
  • Trim off stems from the dried chilis and remove the seeds. Set aside.
  • During the last 20 minutes of smoking time, place your dried chilis into a heat-safe bowl. Pour boiling water over them until they are well submerged. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let them soften for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Remove chuck roast and short ribs from the smoker and place them into a large Dutch oven. You can cut the chuck roast into four equal sections if preferred.
  • Heat oil in a skillet, and cook chopped onions over medium-low heat for 3 minutes until they take on a shiny appearance. Add one chopped shallot to the onions and cook for 1 minute.
  • Drain chilis and add them to a blender along with the onion-shallot mixture, beef broth, salt, pepper, and spices. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.

Braising the beef and making the birria tacos:

Braising beef and making tacos
  • Pour the mixture over the meat, place the lid on the Dutch oven, and place it into the oven. Cook for 3 hours, turning the meat halfway through and adding more broth or water as needed.
  • Test the meat for tenderness. If it needs more time, place it back into the oven for 30-60 more minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board, but leave the sauce (consomme) in the pot.
  • Shred the meat and place it into a bowl.
  • Next, it’s time to make your birria tacos. Gather your shredded cheese, chopped remaining shallot (or onion if preferred), and corn tortillas. This process goes quickly, so it’s best to have all the taco components in place.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle pan on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Add some oil and spread it around evenly.
  • Dip a corn tortilla in the consomme, place on your skillet, and top with cheese, shredded beef, and chopped shallot (or onion). Cook as you would a quesadilla. Fold it in half with a spatula, and voila! A birria taco is born.
  • Repeat the process as needed. Wipe the pan skillet clean every 2-3 tacos to avoid burning. Add more oil and continue.
  • Serve on a platter topped with chopped cilantro and remaining shallots, lime wedges, and warmed consomme on the side.
  • Plan on 3 tacos per person.
  • Store leftover components in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Use moderately smoke-flavored woods like cherry or pecan for this recipe.
    Have enough fuel to get you through a 2 hour smoking time. Remember that the braising process happens in your oven after the chuck roast and short ribs have had a few hours in the smoker.
    You can use a smoker, pellet grill, or charcoal grill to make this recipe.
  • If you have excess grease in the pot, pour the consomme into a fat separator and drain off the fat. Return consomme to pot and keep warm.
    Have all your birria taco ingredients nearby when it comes time to make them. Doing this will streamline the process and make it easier.
  • If you don’t consume red meat, substitute with 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Cook them in your smoker for 1 hour and transfer to a Dutch oven, and braise in your oven with consomme for 2 hours, or until tender. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Thin out the consomme to suit your needs. Some folks like it thick, and some like it more broth-like.
  • Want it smokier? Add 1 chili in adobo, plus 1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce.

More recipes to try

If you enjoyed these smoked beef birria tacos, we’re sure you’ll loves these dishes as well!

Smoked Birria Tacos

Smoked Birria Tacos

Smoked Birria Tacos are super delicious and flavorful. The dish features smoked beef chuck roast and short ribs seasoned simply, then slow-smoked, and finished off in the oven with fantastic braising liquid made of chilis and spices.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American BBQ, Mexican
Keyword: birria tacos, smoked birria tacos
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
Servings: 5
Calories: 445kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 beef chuck roast 3 pounds
  • 5 beef short ribs 2 pound
  • salt and black pepper
  • For consomme:
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 dried guajillo chilis
  • 3 dried ancho chilis
  • 3 dried arbol chilis
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion chopped
  • 3 medium shallots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • For tacos:
  • Corn tortillas about 12-15
  • Shredded colby jack pepper jack, or Monterey jack cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 limes quartered

Instructions

  • Prepare your smoker or pellet grill for 225 degrees F. Use cherry or pecan wood for this recipe.
  • Season chuck roast with salt and pepper
  • Place chuck roast on the smoker, close the lid, and let it cook for an hour.
  • After an hour, it’s time to add the short ribs. Season with salt and pepper, and place on the smoker with the chuck roast. Close the lid and cook both for an hour.
  • Trim off stems from the dried chilis and remove the seeds. Set aside.
  • During the last 20 minutes of smoking time, place your dried chilis into a heat-safe bowl. Pour boiling water over them until they are well submerged. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let them soften for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Remove chuck roast and short ribs from the smoker and place them into a large Dutch oven. You can cut the chuck roast into four equal sections if preferred.
  • Heat oil in a skillet, and cook chopped onions over medium-low heat for 3 minutes until they take on a shiny appearance. Add one chopped shallot to the onions and cook for 1 minute.
  • Drain chilis and add them to a blender along with the onion-shallot mixture, beef broth, salt, pepper, and spices. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Pour the mixture over the meat, place the lid on the Dutch oven, and place it into the oven. Cook for 3 hours, turning the meat halfway through and adding more broth or water as needed.
  • Test the meat for tenderness. If it needs more time, place it back into the oven for 30-60 more minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board, but leave the sauce (consomme) in the pot.
  • Shred the meat and place it into a bowl. Next, gather your shredded cheese, chopped remaining shallot (or onion if preferred), and corn tortillas. This process goes quickly, so it’s best to have all the taco components in place.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle pan on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Add some oil and spread it around evenly.
  • Dip a corn tortilla in the consomme, place on your skillet, and top with cheese, shredded beef, and chopped shallot (or onion). Cook as you would a quesadilla. Fold it in half with a spatula, and voila! A birria taco is born.
  • Repeat the process as needed. Wipe the pan skillet clean every 2-3 tacos to avoid burning. Add more oil and continue.
  • Serve on a platter topped with chopped cilantro and remaining shallots, lime wedges, and warmed consomme on the side.
  • Plan on 3 tacos per person.
  • Store leftover components in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 1090mg | Potassium: 1246mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 6360IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 6mg

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