The Tacos All Over Instagram

Quesabirria tacos are the tacos you see all over Instagram with the fried, crispy meat and deep red dipping sauce. I personally prefer Birria de Res served as a taco with melty cheese added in (Quesabirria), it’s a taco and quesadilla in one! You can also serve Birria de Res as a rich and flavorful stew topped with onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Rich and Flavorful Birria de Res

Traditionally Birria is made with goat meat, but for this recipe we are using cuts of beef (Birria de Res). I use a chuck roast and bone-in short ribs but feel free to use another cut with fat and bones in it. Whatever you choose it is important to make sure it is bone-in. The beef bones are what makes this stew so rich and flavorful.

The deep red color comes from the chiles used. I prefer using a mild chili such as California chili pods or Guajillo chiles. If you want to add more heat you can try using Ancho or Arbol chiles instead. Once the Birria de Res is ready to serve, taste it and add in some additional Chili pepper if you feel that it needs more heat.

Typically Birria de Res is just the meat and stew broth when served. The onion, garlic, and carrots are used to flavor the stew and then discarded before serving. Of course you can feel free to include them if you want to!

So Many Flavors

Birria de Res is so flavorful. It is savory, sweet, earthy, smokey, and spicy in every bite! Many recipes for Birria de Res call for vinegar but this one does not. The addition of lime juice at the end gives enough acidity to the dish so vinegar is not needed. The onions and cilantro also add a freshness that perfectly compliments the rich flavor of this dish.

Easier Than it Looks

This looks like a really long, intimidating recipe but it’s not! It’s so easy to make this Instagram-worthy dish yourself. Also, this recipe makes a lot of tacos but it freezes well! Store anything you plan to eat within a week in the fridge and freeze the rest in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Birria de Res & Quesabirria Tacos

Sarah Ochoa
These are the tacos you've seen all over instagram. Birria de Res is a rich and flavorful beef stew, the meat is then shredded and fried in a corn tortilla with quesadilla cheese. Serve with a cup of stew broth topped with onion, cilantro, and lime juice (the perfect dipping sauce!).
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 850 kcal


  • 1 Dutch oven


  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 – 3 lbs Chuck roast cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 lbs Short ribs bone-in
  • 1 White onion cut in half
  • 1 Garlic bulb cut off the narrow top, no need to peel
  • 1 Carrot cut into 4 large pieces
  • 5 Bay leaves dried
  • 8 California chili pods stems cut off, seeds removed
  • 3 Tbsp Chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • White corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Quesadilla cheese shredded
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Cilantro for serving
  • White onion chopped for serving


Birria de Res:

  • Combine the meats, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, and dried peppers into a large dutch oven. Cover the ingredients with water.
  • Add in the chicken bouillon, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, and salt. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • After 30 minutes you will notice some foam forming on the top. Skim off and discard the foam.
  • The dried peppers should now be softened. Remove them from the dutch oven and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. If needed, you can add in a small amount of broth to achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Add the blended peppers back into the Birria and stir well to combine.
  • Stir the chili powder into the Birria.
  • Cover and simmer the Birria over medium-low heat for about 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falls apart on it's own. Stir the Birria about once every hour.
  • Skim the grease from the top and place it in a medium size skillet. Save this for frying the tacos.
  • Remove the onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaves and discard.
  • Remove the meat and bones. Discard the bones. Shred the meat into small pieces.
  • If you want to serve as Birria de Res you can now place some meat in a bowl and pour in some broth. Top with the chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Quesabirria tacos:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Warm the tortillas in the microwave before you begin to prevent cracking/splitting.
  • Dip a warmed tortilla into the reserved grease on both sides.
  • Place the tortilla onto the heated skillet and top with some shredded meat and cheese.
  • Fold the tortilla in half and press down with a spatula. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and golden.
  • Flip the taco over and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden. As the taco is frying spoon some additional grease over the taco.
  • Continue with cooking the remaining tacos. Once they are cooked allow them to cool briefly before serving.
  • Serve the tacos with a cup of Birria de Res for dipping. Top with chopped onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.


Here are some helpful notes:
  • Make sure that you use bone-in short ribs, or any other cut of beef that is bone-in. The bones are what make this stew so rich and flavorful.
  • The California chili pods are a mild pepper. You can also use Guajillo chiles instead. If you want to add some heat try adding in Ancho or Arbol chiles.
  • After the Birria de Res is done feel free to add in more chili powder if you feel that it needs more heat!
  • For the tacos I like using quesadilla cheese but any cheese that melts well will work. Try using Monterey Jack or even Mozzarella.
  • Make sure that you do not discard the grease from the Birria de Res! This is what add a ton of flavor and color to the tortillas as you make the tacos.
Keyword Birria de Res Recipe, Quesabirria Recipe, Quesabirria Tacos

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