Birria en Consomé | Birria Quesatacos

Birria en Consomé - Birria Quesatacos

Birria en Consomé - Birria Quesatacos
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours


  • 1 lb beef bones
  • 3-4 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 10 chiles (guajillo, ancho, puya, or arbol. See Recipe Notes)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • Salt + pepper
  • Water
  • Corn tortillas
  • Queso quesadilla, oaxaca, or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Minced cilantro and onion for serving


Place bones, onion, carrot, bay leaves, garlic and chuck roast in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a constant simmer. Skim away the frothy “scum” that will collect on top. Simmer until the meat is falling apart and tender, about 2-3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Stem and seed the chiles, and place them in a separate pot along with the tomatoes and remaining spices. Cover with water and bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes, until the chiles are soft. Remove from the heat and separate all the solids from the liquid using a fine mesh strainer. Place the softened chiles and tomatoes in a blender and cover with about a cup and a half of the cooking liquid. It’s okay if some of the spices make it into the blender, but discard the cinnamon stick. Blend until very smooth. Strain the sauce again with a mesh strainer to remove any large pieces. (You can skip this step if using a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.) Set the sauce aside.

Once the meat is tender, remove the bones and discard. Next, move all the meat and solids out of the pot and strain the cooking liquid. Return the strained cooking liquid to the pot. Discard the carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaves and any other residue. You can choose to shred the meat at this point or return the meat to the pot in pieces with the cooking liquid. Add the sauce. Stir the sauce into the cooking liquid to create the consomé. Simmer on low heat for at least another 30 minutes or so, until ready to serve.

To make the quesatacos, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip a tortilla into the birria consomé to coat, then fry in the skillet, adding a small handful of shredded cheese, and then a couple of tablespoons of birria meat. Fold the tortilla over, and flip to brown on both sides. Remove from the skillet once you see some brown spots on the outside of the tortilla. Serve with the minced cilantro and onion, and a side of consomé broth for dipping.

Recipe Notes

I did quite a bit of research on this dish, comparing cooking methods and ingredients before landing on the above method. There are many ways to make this, so I encourage you to take a look at the reference links to find a method that works best for you. I decided on the stove-top method to allow me to keep an eye on everything. This can also easily be done in a crockpot, or you can choose to braise the meat in the oven instead.

Regarding the chiles, I see many recipes use primarily or exclusively guajillo or california chiles. These will produce a mild sauce. I used puya and ancho chiles for my sauce this time. The puya is a little hotter than a guajillo chile, but it has a similar “bright” flavor, in contrast to the darker, more raisin-y ancho chile. If you want a spicy sauce, add a few chiles de arbol.

From start to the completed consommé stage, this recipe took about 3.5 hours. I simmered the meat on low for another two hours until it was dinner time, then I constructed the tacos just before serving. This can also be served on its own as a stew.

Traditional Mexican birria would be made with goat meat, although many preparations in the United States will use beef as a substitute since it’s much easier to find (birria de res).

Pro tip: the consomé is perfect for making Mexican red rice. Replace some of the rice cooking liquid with consomé. Your rice will be perfectly flavored and the oil in the broth will help you achieve perfect individual grains of rice instead of overcooked mush. I also suggest toasting the rice in oil before adding liquid. Maybe I’ll write a recipe for this...


This tops the charts as one of the best Mexican dishes I’ve made to date. I’m no stranger to Mexican food or stewed meats, in fact I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to Mexican cuisine, incorporating Mexican dishes into my meal plan on a weekly basis. This dish is so flavorful, so rich, so tender… I can’t wait for leftovers. 10 out of 5 wines.

Recipe Attempts

This recipe has been attempted by the author 1 time(s).