Birria de Res is a classic regional Mexican stew. Made with lots of flavorful peppers and spices, you will fall in love with this amazing recipe!
This post contains affiliate links.
I have fallen in love with Birria de Res!
The sauce is just so good with all of the dried peppers, and the beef is versatile in so many ways!
This is the birria recipe for the classic Birria de Res itself, which you can do so much with. Eat it as a stew, shred it up for tacos, or try one of our birria recipes using the meat!
This is now our favorite Mexican shredded beef recipe in the family.
Where to Find the Peppers
These dried peppers are easy to find in the latin or hispanic section of your grocery store.
These peppers are all very common in Mexican cooking and you will be able to use them all in other fun recipes! One of my favorites is Salsa Chile de Arbol, which has become my new favorite!
Adjusting Heat Levels
This Birria de Rez recipe comes out to a solid medium heat level when it comes to spice.
In order to make it more spicy or more mild, first start with knowing how much heat each type of pepper brings.
Scoville units are how peppers are assessed and ranked in regards to spice. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.
Scoville ranges from 0 for sweet peppers like bell peppers, to over 2 million for peppers like ghost peppers.
Remember, peppers have variation within each variety as well, so it is possible any of your peppers are a little hotter or milder naturally.
Based on these rankings, use more chile de arbol peppers if you want a hot sauce. And more ancho (less chile de arbol) for a milder sauce.
You might need to experiment a little to find the perfect heat for you. Try toasting and soaking up extra peppers in the direction you think you want to go, add peppers one at a time, and keep tasting as you go.
Cooking the Beef
There are a few extra steps in this Birria recipe that I believe are worth the few extra minutes.
Charring the tomatoes brings an amazing depth of flavor to the sauce and helps cut out any raw tomato flavor that might peek through.
Searing the beef also gives you great color which equals more flavor in addition to some texture on the meat.
It might be tempting to skip these steps, and technically you can, but I say they are worth it!
Serving and Using the Beef
I have you save the water that the peppers cooked in for a few reasons.
A popular way to serve up tacos is by dunking them in the consume.
It also can be added to the pepper mixture to thin out the sauce as desired.
And if you do want to eat this as a stew, the moisture definitely helps thin it out.
No matter how you enjoy the beef, you will love it!
- 4 guajillo chile peppers dried
- 3 ancho chile peppers dried
- 4 chile de arbol peppers dried
- 4 roma tomatoes (approximately 1 pound)
- 3 pounds chuck roast (any weight 2-4 pounds will work)
- black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (or allspice)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Fill a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add all of the dried peppers and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak until cook.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Blister the tomatoes on all sides until they are starting to peel, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. (You can also do this by broiling in oven, turning as needed.)
- Dry the beef roast with paper towels and season all sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a Dutch oven pot over medium high heat.
- When hot, add the meat and sear on all sides, approximately 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, but leave the beef in the pot. We will be cooking in this later.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Make the sauce: put the tomatoes in a blender. Add all of the dried peppers (simply pull off their stems and discard stems before adding). Add the vinegar, garlic, black pepper, clove, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add 1/4 of the chile pepper water and blend until smooth. Do not discard the remaining chile pepper water, you will use it later.
- Push the sauce through a fine mesh strainer using a spoon or spatula into the beef pot. Once strained, discard the pieces you removed that are in the strainer.
- Toss the beef in the sauce to coat. Add the bay leaves to the pot. Cover the pot and place in oven.
- Cook for approximately 3 hours until the beef is falling apart. Every 45 minutes while cooking, baste the beef by spooning sauce over the top of the roast. If desired, to crisp up the beef a little, remove the lid for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.
- Serve as desired. Use the remaining pepper water to thin out the beef sauce or serve on the side as consume for taco dunking, if desired. All remaining pepper water can be discarded when you have used what you need.