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Published April 28, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Learn how to make classic beef birria consomé that is simmered in a delicious pepper broth and shredded to perfection.
Birria is meat that is slow-cooked in a zesty roasted pepper broth until it easily pulls apart and is shredded. It’s often served with lemon juice, diced yellow onions, and cilantro. Birria was founded and created in the state of Jalisco in Mexico, which is on the west coast. You may have heard of Puerto Vallarta, which is in Jalisco.
Classically, birria would be made with goat, sheep, or lamb. However, if you were to try birria in more northern states of Mexico, it would most often be prepared with beef, which is also what you will see in the United States.
While this traditional delicious recipe has been around for generations, it has definitely been trending in the last 5 years. In addition, birria is absolutely a common street food that you would find in Mexico, and it is nothing short of amazing.
What Cut of Meat Should I Use?
When making this recipe you can choose to prepare it with a traditional protein, with beef, or a combination of meats. I choose to use lamb and beef to really help elevate the flavor of the consomé. Here are some cuts of beef you can use:
- Short Ribs
If you want to add lamb to the mix as I did or use all lamb then here are some cuts you can cook with:
How to Make Birria Consomé
Follow along with these step-by-step instructions for how to make a Birria Consomé recipe:
Start by searing the seasoned protein in oil in a large pot or rondeau over medium-high to high heat until well browned on all sides.
Set the meat to the side and add the onions to the pot and cook until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.
Next, add in the garlic, tomatoes, seeded and stemmed peppers, spices, and herbs, and stew over medium to medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes.
Deglaze with water or beef stock and cook over medium heat until the amount of liquid is reduced by 1/2.
Transfer the mixture to a blender, remove the little middle cap to the blender top, and pulse on high speed until it is completely smooth.
Pour the pepper mixture back into the large pot along with water or beef stock, the seared meat and cook on medium-to-medium high heat for about 2 hours or until it is easily shredded.
Remove the meat, and discard any bones, and roughly chop using a knife.
Quickly strain the leftover broth into another pot and add the beef back to the pot.
Pour the desired amount of birria consomé into a bowl and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and garnish with diced white or yellow onions, diced radishes, and chopped fresh cilantro.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time.
How to Reheat: Place the desired amount into a medium-sized saucepot and heat over low heat until hot. You can also heat in the microwave until hot.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. This will freeze well covered for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
chef notes + tips
- When searing the meat, you may need to do it in batches if your pot is not big enough.
- You may also add some cheese to the stew when serving it.
- When blending the pepper mixture, or any hot mixture, remove the center cap from the lid to the blender and place a kitchen towel over top with a little hole for the hot air to escape.
More Beef Recipes
Homemade Beef Birria Consomé Recipe
- 3 pounds of assorted beef cuts: chuck, bottom round, shanks
- 2 pounds lamb shanks
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 peeled and roughly chopped white or yellow onions
- 5 garlic cloves
- 4 cored roughly chopped vine-ripe tomatoes
- 4 seeded and stemmed dried guajillo chiles
- 4 seeded and stemmed dried ancho chiles
- 8-10 allspice berries
- ½ cinnamon stick, broken up
- 12-15 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 cups of water
- 1 gallon of water or beef stock
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- juice of fresh lemons
- diced yellow or white onions, diced radishes, and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Season both the beef and lamb well on all sides with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Next add the oil to a very large pot or rondeau over high heat and once it begins to smoke add in the meat and lamb and sear until well browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes per side.
- Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
- Now, place in the onions and cook over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until caramelized.
- Place in the garlic and give it a quick sauté with the onions for about 4-5 minutes.
- Next, pout in the tomatoes, chiles, allspice berries, cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves, cumin seeds, oregano, and thyme and stew medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes to soften up the peppers and cook the tomatoes.
- Deglaze with 2 cups of water and continue to cook on medium-high heat until the amount of liquid is reduced by ½ or about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree at high speed until smooth. See note on how to blend hot food.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot along with water or beef stock. Season this mixture well with salt and pepper.
- Place the seared meat back into the pot, cover, and cook on medium-medium-high for about 2 hours, or until the meat is easily shredded. The liquid should be at a rapid bubble or a very low boil the entire time.
- Remove the meat, discard any bones, and roughly chop on a cutting board. Keep aside.
- Next, strain the remaining liquid through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois and return the strained liquid back to the pot along with the chopped meat.
- To serve: Place the desired amount of birria consomé into a bowl and garnish with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, onions, radishes, and cilantro.