• Birria: Traditional Mexican Stew

    2 votes
    Birria: Traditional Mexican Stew
    Prep: 30 min Cook: 3 hours Servings: 6
    by Richard Blaine
    5 recipes
    Birria stew is a favorite stew from Mexico. It is served in the finest of restaurants and also on many street vendors as well. It is traditionally made with lamb but can be made with any red meat like goat, veal, beef and the other white meat.....pork! This is a delicious stew with many uses. Just check out the broth that gets made with the meat and then check out the tomato/chili sauce and you will know that there are tons of uses for this recipe!


    • Ingredients:
    • At least 3Lbs of meat. I am using 1 1/2 Lbs. beef and 1 1/2 Lbs. of pork.
    • 2 Brown onions sliced.
    • 5 Cloves of garlic either whole in the skin, mashed or chopped the way I did it in the video.
    • 2 Tbsp. dried thyme or 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh.
    • 2 Tbsp. dried marjoram or 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh.
    • 2 Tsp. rosemary.
    • Salt to taste.
    • Ingredients Tomato/Chili Sauce:
    • 2 Lbs. Roma tomatoes.
    • 4 Guajillo chilies or Mirasol chilies if you can find them. Either is delicious!
    • 4 New Mexico chilies or Pipitilla chilies if you can find them. Either is delicious!
    • 2 Or more Chili de Arbol for spice!
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.
    • 1 Beef bouillon cube.
    • Garnishes:
    • 1 Cup chopped cilantro.
    • 1 Cup chopped onion.
    • 1 Cup chopped radishes.
    • Lime wedges.


    1. Method:
    2. Gear: A steamer pot with basket or a large stock pot with steamer rack.
    3. Fill pot with 15 cups of water for 3 Lbs. of meat.
    4. Make first layer of meat in the basket/rack.
    5. Add a whole sliced onion.
    6. Add half of your herbs: marjoram, thyme, rosemary and garlic.
    7. Add some salt on this layer unless you salted your meat as I explained above.
    8. Make your next layer of meat to the rack/steamer.
    9. Add the second sliced onion and the rest of your herbs.
    10. Cook this meat on medium for between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I let mine steam for 2 1/2 hours and it was delicious!
    11. When your meat is done remove it from the pot and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes.
    12. Now shred your meat and set aside for later.
    13. Save the meat broth as well to be mixed with the tomato/chili sauce.
    14. Tomato/Chili Sauce:
    15. 1. You will need another large sauce pan or sauce pot for this sauce.
    16. 2. In your large sauce pot add the Roma tomatoes and the dried chili peppers.
    17. 3. Cover with just enough water to cover the ingredients in the pot.
    18. 4. Bring to boil.
    19. 5. Boil for 15 minutes or until the chilies and the tomatoes are soft.
    20. 6. Now take your tomato/chili mixture and blend to a puree in small batched in a blender for food processor. You want to make sure that you puree enough so that you don’t end up with large chili skin pieces in your Birria. So if you have to you can strain the tomato/chili mixture after blending if you need to!
    21. 7. Now in a large stock pot or sauce pot combine the beef stock and tomato/chili sauce.
    22. 8. Add one beef bouillon cube and your Worcestershire sauce and stir.
    23. 9. Now cook this broth on medium for another 2o minutes or so to get it to the boil.
    24. 10. Once boiled taste and adjust the flavor with another bouillon cube or salt and dried herbs as needed.
    25. Note: At this point you can either opt to place the meat into the broth and cook for 5 to 10 minutes just to heat up the meat or like Sandy’s family does and I did in my video presentation, I kept the meat warm in the oven and the broth simmering on the stove top.

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    • nnonna2003
      Must try.....
      • Richard Blaine
        Richard Blaine
        Hi Bob,

        Thanks for the welcome wagon. I am REALLY new here but I can tell it's a really well laid out site and yes the exchange is great! Glad you like the recipe! Yes I found that steaming the meat makes a great broth, better than simmering bones and vegetable ends anytime. When you do get around to trying the recipe let me know what you think!


        • Bob Vincent
          Bob Vincent
          Hi Richard:
          Welcome to CES. You can have great fun on this site. I am relatively new to it and am enjoying the exchange with other chefs to no end. I like the sound of this stew. An interesting method of steaming things first then building the sauce components and the final dish. I have added this to my try soon folder. Thanks for sharing!
          Best Regards,

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