Smoked Beef Birria Tacos

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Birria tacos are one of the newest cuisine trends. This recipe puts a barbeque spin on a classic meal.

You’ll want to marinade your meat overnight (or for at least four hours), so prepare ahead of time.

I promise that after you’ve made them, your family will want taco night every day of the week.

What are Birria tacos?

Smoked Beef Birria Tacos

Birria is a classic stew or consommé prepared with goat flesh that has been cooked for hours until it falls apart. The consomme is produced with an excellent combination of chiles, tomatoes, herbs, and spices that are often used in Mexican cuisine.

After braising, the beef is shredded and served in the consomme, or, as I did in this recipe, removed and shredded, then packed into tacos with the meat, onions, and cilantro, then cheese, dipped in the broth, and fried in a cast iron pan.

They come with a consomme to dip your tacos in. I’ll teach you a way that uses beef chuck instead of goat, but you can also use goat or lamb shanks as the basic protein.

Instead of just braising over a heat source for a few hours, I use a smoker to infuse some smokiness into the protein first. For this, I use a gravity-fed smoker (the Masterbuilt 560), but you may use whatever technique of smoking you choose, such as a kettle-style or classic offset smoker, or even a pellet grill.

A crockpot, instant pot, or slow cooker may also be used to achieve a similar outcome.

What you’ll need

Smoked Beef Birria Tacos

  • A smoker capable of low and slow BBQ
  • Ingredients as listed below
  • Smoking wood chunks I used cherry
  • A large pot to braise in
  • A cast-iron skillet
  • A blender or food processor
  • A sieve

What type of meat to use for Birria?

For this dish, I used a beef chuck roast (about 4-5lb), but you could also use lamb shanks, beef shin or osso bucco, beef cheeks, or lamb shoulder.

You may use a combination of beef and lamb for this. This recipe would work nicely with anything that has a significant quantity of intramuscular fat.

As I write, I can only imagine what the rendered bone marrow from a couple osso bucco would do for this dish; my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Preparing your protein

I prefer to marinade my beef chuck overnight for this, but it is not required. You’ll still get a delicious meal without it. If you have the time, go ahead and do it. If not, don’t worry about it.

I marinate in a mixture of crushed garlic, dried oregano, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, and tomato paste for 30 minutes. Combine all of the ingredients and massage all over your chuck roast. Refrigerate overnight.

Rinse off any excess and gently dry with a paper kitchen towel in the morning.

As a binder, lightly oil your chuck (you can also use American mustard if you like), then generously sprinkle with your preferred beef rub. I like Lanes Brisket rub or my birria beef rub, both of which are given here.

Simply combine 1 part cracked black pepper, 1 part kosher salt, and 1/2 part garlic granules in a bowl. Add 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp dry thyme for every 3 tbsp of each portion and carefully combine.

Smoke your protein

After you’ve applied the rub, preheat your smoker to 275°F.

Smoke your beef chuck for about 3 hours, or until it has developed a beautiful bark and color. The fingertip test is the best method to determine if your bark is set. This is done by delicately scratching the rub with your fingernail.

If the rub comes off, the bark is not well set. If not, and you’re satisfied with the color, which should be a deep mahogany or practically black by now, it’s time to braise.

What if you don’t have a smoker?

Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a smoker; this dish can also be made in a crockpot or pressure cooker.

If you wish to use a crockpot, follow the instructions below, and then brown your protein in a skillet over high heat, then add it to your consomme in a crockpot and simmer on high for 4 hours, or until the meat is fall apart soft. Then serve as directed below.

If you prefer to use a pressure cooker, brown your protein on both sides as described above, then place it in a pressure cooker with your prepared consomme from below and cook for 40-50 minutes. Then, as before, serve.

Starting your consomme

You should begin making your consomme as soon as your meat is done smoking. The longer it is allowed to simmer and mix flavors, the better your final result will be, with a great depth of flavor throughout.

Finely slice your onion and cook steadily over low heat until tender, about 8 minutes.Cook for a few minutes after adding the chopped Roma tomatoes. Then add all of your dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute, or until aromatic.

Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 30 seconds more, and then add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to the lowest setting possible, and leave it simmer for an hour. You may need to add another cup of water during cooking.

Remove from the heat after an hour and let it cool slightly before mixing in a food processor. Allowing the consomme to cool somewhat before blending is critical, as you may create a huge mess if you don’t. Once combined, strain the consomme through a strainer and return it to the stove.

Braising the chuck

When you’re satisfied with the bark on your chuck, carefully set it in your pot and cover with foil. Don’t be concerned if the liquid does not completely cover your meat; it is not designed to. It should sit to tenderize your meat.

Return the whole pot to the smoker for 3-4 hours, or until the chuck probes like butter. Your internal temperature should be between 203F and 205F, but it may reach 210F. When it probes like butter, when a skewer can be inserted with no resistance, your chuck is ready.

You have two alternatives after your chuck is ready. You may shred the meat straight in the consomme and serve it strewn with finely sliced onion, chopped cilantro, and a good squeeze of lime, or you can follow the instructions below to serve as birria tacos, which is my favourite option.

First, you must remove the chuck. When removing the chuck from the consomme, be cautious since it will be so fall-apart delicate that it may come apart, so use child gloves! Handle it as though you were dealing with a young kitten with a bone density issue, a la Mr. Glass from that Bruce Willis picture!

Making your tacos

It is critical to have all of your taco components prepared and ready to go. I prefer to have all of the various ingredients ready to go in tiny dishes. Our tacos will be fried in a cast iron pan over medium heat. I’ve tried everything from directly laying the skillet on my offset smoker firebox to using a butane camping oven to just placing it over embers.

The crucial thing to remember is that if the temperature is too high, the following step might easily burn your tacos. If you have a particularly high heat, you can heat up your cast iron skillet, take it from the fire, and the residual heat in the pan should be enough to cook the tacos at this point. If you need more heat, just return to your heat source for a few minutes while cooking.

While your gorgeous beef chuck was braising in the consomme, you may have seen a delightful pool of rendered fat on top of the liquid. If you’re cooking tacos, don’t mix it into the consomme! That will be used in our following step(s)!

Take your soft flour tortilla (small ones work best) and dip it completely into the consomme, coating both sides gently with rendered oil and a little sauce, then set it in your cast iron pan with a gratifying sizzling.

You must act rapidly today, which is why you must be prepared. Fold over your taco and top with pulled smoked beef chuck, finely sliced onion, grated cheese, and cilantro. When the bottom of the taco has taken on some color, turn it over to brown the other side.

This whole procedure should take no more than a minute. Serve with a squeeze of lime, more chopped cilantro, and a dish of consomme topped with onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime to dip your taco into.

This is a genuinely fantastic meal that is best eaten with friends, family, and an ice-cold Cerveza or many. My neighbor declared it to be the finest taco he’d ever tasted. He’d also had a few of those Cervezas. In any case, they are amazing and the epitome of street food.

Cheers, mate.

FAQs

What is birria taco meat made of?

FAQs about Birria Tacos

It is a classic Jalisco-style Mexican dish that was initially cooked using lamb meat. Beef birria recipes, also known as birria de res, are becoming more popular; I use chuck roast in my Mexican stew. Birria tacos are created with delectable Mexican stew and Mexican cheeses like oaxaca.

What is the best meat to smoke for tacos?

Smoking the beef beforehand enhances the taste of the meat. Chuck roast is the optimum cut for slow cooking and easy shredding once the intramuscular fat melts down. It’s also less expensive than other options. To make the meal extra soft and tasty, finish it in a gentle braise of rich broth.

What cut of beef is best for birria?

Beef: Boneless beef chuck roast, short ribs, stew meet, oxtail, or beef cheeks work well here (or a bone-in cut may be substituted). In Mexico, lamb or goat are also often used for Birria.

What makes Birria tacos different?

What exactly is birria? Birria is a beef stew with a melange of chiles and spices that gives it a rich, crimson color. Birria tacos are made using tortillas filled with succulent, juicy meat from the stew.

Is beef birria just barbacoa?

In summary, birria is a subspecies of barbacoa, but barbacoa is not a subspecies of birria. Barbacoa is connected to barbeque, while birria is braised or steamed. Barbacoa is usually cooked in its own juices with a marinade, and the majority of barbacoa is prepared from beef (but lamb or mutton are also popular).

What is birria meat in Mexico?

Birria (Spanish: [birja] (listen)) is a Jalisco-style Mexican cuisine. The dish is a meat stew or soup that is usually prepared with goat meat but may also be made with beef, lamb, mutton, or chicken.

What is the toughest meat to smoke?

What is the most difficult meat to smoke? Brisket is the smoking’s holy grail. From competitive chefs to committed pit masters and barbecue fans, everyone agrees that beef brisket is the most difficult meat to perfect.

What beef to smoke for beginners?

What are the finest meats to smoke as a beginner?
Butt (pulled pork) from Boston If you’re new to meat smoking, we suggest beginning with this.
Chicken, whole.
Brisket of beef.
Ribs de porc.
Shank of lamb.
Cheeks of beef.
Steak Tomahawk.
We’re all about going slow and low.

What cuts of beef are best smoked?

9 Best Beef Cuts for Smoking Brisket.
Ribs of beef (bone-in, country style, and short ribs)
Tri-tip.
Roast chuck.
Steak, top sirloin.
Steak off the flank.
First-rate round.
Coulotte.

Is beef birria healthy?

Each component of the birria taco adds distinct nutrients and advantages to the cuisine as a whole. Birria meat, for example, is abundant in protein (about 26 grams per 2-3 ounces), making it a superb source of vital amino acids.

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