Mexican Birria

Mexican Birria Recipe

The Spruce 

Ratings (70)
  • Total: 28 hrs
  • Prep: 24 hrs
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
575 Calories
28g Fat
23g Carbs
58g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Associated with the state of Jalisco but eaten in many parts of the country, birria is a traditional Mexican dish most often made with goat meat or mutton, but beef, veal, or pork can also be used. It is served as a stew or can be used as a taco filling and is often part of the meal at celebrations such as weddings. Widely touted as a hangover cure, this dish frequently makes its way onto the brunch menus the day after a celebration.

In Mexico, birria is sold at street stands or little mom-and-pop cafés. Many people will combine more than one meat in the same dish, so feel free to use the meat(s) that you like the most (or the ones that are on sale at the time) when preparing your own birria.

You do need to plan ahead when you make this recipe as the meat has to marinate overnight. You will need a Dutch oven (or casserole dish) with a tight-fitting lid and a rack that sits inside. While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Mexican birria dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan when cooking.


  • For the Chile Paste:
  • 4 guajillo chiles
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 3 cascabel chiles
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • For the Meat Rub:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • For the Meat:
  • 3 to 4 pounds goat meat, or mutton, beef, veal, and/or pork, with or without bones
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion (peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and finely diced)
  • For the Garnish:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped onion

Steps to Make It