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A big bowl of this Slow Cooker Birria de Res, or Mexican Beef stew, is the ultimate comfort food. Deep robust Mexican food flavors that will make your tastebuds very happy. Enjoy!
Birria de Res reminds me of my maternal grandfather. He was born in a humble town in Zacatecas, Mexico – no neon signs, taxis or 7-11s. Like most Mexicans outside of the city, he didn’t have much of an education, but that didn’t stop him. He collected every book or magazine he could get his hands on. Learning was my grandfather’s passion.
My grandfather was a violinist, an engineer, a writer, a man beyond his time. Eventually, he made his way to Durango, Mexico – where my family is from. Each time we visited my abuelito, we would eat Birria de Chivo, or Mexican Stew made with goat. Since goat is hard to find in the US, I’m making this dish with beef. This is the way we make it in Durango. Other states have their versions.
Sear the meat on all sides to lock in the flavors. Mmm… imagine the smell! It’s Mexcellent! 😀
These chiles give good flavor to the Birria de Res. I’m using chile guajillo and ancho chile.
It’s easy to devein and remove the seeds from the chiles. Start by cutting off the tops, or the stems.
Then cut them lengthwise. Do you see the seeds? You don’t want these in your sauce. Remove them. You won’t be able to get all of them. Just remove as many as you can. If you can remove any veins, remove them too.
Place your stems removed, deveined, and seeds removed chiles in a stock pot. You will need to use a pot that can handle all the chiles.
Reconstituting chiles means they have to soak in hot water. This does not take long. 5-10 minutes at the most.
To make the sauce for the Birria de Res you will need all these spices. ¼ cinnamon stick, thyme, oregano, cloves, laurel leaves (or bay leaves), salt, and pepper. It sounds like a lot, but each spice brings a lot of flavor to the dish.
Add the spices, the reconstituted chiles, liquid, bouillon, and garlic to the blend. Blend until smooth. Since we are not straining, make sure it is fully blended. You might need to blend a second time.
Some people will strain the sauce for the Birria de Res. My mom is not much of a strainer. Authentic Mexican food is rustic. I love that about our food. If you like a smoother sauce, then go for it. Strain away. I like my mom’s version, and that’s what I’m going with. Set this aside until ready to use.
Back to our beef… salt and pepper the side that’s up. Then turn and sear the uncooked side. You really want color on your beef. Don’t skip this step. It helps lock in some amazingly delicious flavors.
The slow cooker is your friend in the kitchen. You can go shopping, go horseback riding, watch two movies, and your food will not burn. Gotta love that! Add the beef to the slow cooker.
Now time to add the sauce. You want the sauce to cover the entire piece of beef. If it doesn’t for some strange reason, add more water and a little more salt.
Set it on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. The meat will be tender and ready to eat. Birria de Res is typically served with raw diced onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and a dozen tortillas.
Birria de Res screams celebration – birthday parties, Christmas, baby showers. It’s probably because you can make a HUGE pot of this delicious stew, and it feeds large Mexican families. Big families. Big food. Lots of love (and tortillas).
Watch Video and learn how to make Birria de Res
Slow Cooker: Birria de Res, or Mexican Beef Stew + VIDEO
Birria de Res is a traditional Mexican stew, the perfect comfort food with rich, bold flavors that your tastebuds will enjoy.
- 4 lbs roast beef
- 3-4 cups water
- 5 dried chile guajillo
- 2 dried chile ancho
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove
- ¼ whole cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
- 2 laurel leaves (or bay leaves)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt and pepper
Heat the griddle, or pan.
Toast the chiles on the griddle for 2-3 minutes.
Make sure they do not burn.
If they burn, discard the chiles and start again.
Once toasted, transfer to a heatproof bowl.
Add 1 cup hot water and let the chiles soak for 5 minutes, or until pliable.
Seed and devein the chiles, saving the water.
Don’t worry if some seeds remain.
Add the saved water, the chiles, garlic, oregano, thyme, clove, cinnamon, bouillon, laurel leaves (or bay leaves), salt and pepper in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
In a large pot, heat two tablespoons oil.
Add salt and pepper to the beef.
Sear the beef on all sides.
Once the meat is brown, transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the chile mixture from the blender.
Add enough water to cover the meat.
Set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve with diced onions, chopped cilantro, and tortillas.
Searing the meat before adding to the slow cooker locks in flavor. Don't skip this step!
Cut of beef used was chuck roast.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Make the sauce as instructed above.
- Add oil. Press Saute.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides.
- Remove the meat and add the chile sauce and water.
- Return the meat to the pot.
- Cover with lid. Press Pressure Cook. 55 minutes.
- Release pressure. Serve and enjoy.
Stove Top Instructions:
- Make the sauce as instructed above.
- Keep the meat in the pot.
- Pour sauce over the meat.
- Cover with lid and cook for 2 hours.
- Until fork tender.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1457mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 29g
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How long would I pressure cook this ?
I have another post showing Instant Pot instructions https://inmamamaggieskitchen.com/instant-pot-birria-tacos/
Maggie, te amo a ti y tus recetas. I’ve been using this recipe for 3 years now and everyone including myself absolutely loves it. Over time, I’ve experimented and modified a few small things and I honestly think you should try it once. I do everything the same way except I put about 6-7 de guajillo, 4-5 de ancho, y 2-3 chilitos de arbol. I add half a medium sized white onion to the sauce along with 6-7 garlic cloves to the blender. I also put a tiiiny bit less cinnamon than 1/4th of a whole stick. I exchange half of the salt in the blender for some of the beef bouillon and add more of the remaining chile water than 1 cup. If I feel it needs more salt 1 hour before being fully cooked, I add a bit more beef bouillon. Regardless, this recipe is the best. You rock.
Mil gracias por tus palabras. So happy you enjoy this recipe! I even go back to this recipe each time I make birria.
Such an awesome recipe, it looks so yummy! I love slow-cooked food, it brings out the best taste and flavor of any dish! I’ll definitely make this at home! Thanks!
You won’t regret it. This recipe is super tasty!
Amy Liu Dong
This dish makes my mouthwatering!
It is so easy and so delicious.
I am sure everyone will love this!
Glad that you found it easy and delicious as well. Thank you!
Love Mexican food and loved this recipe! The beef was so juicy and tender!
That’s great to hear! Yes, the beef comes out really tender.
Elizabeth A Samaniego
Hello Maggie, if I make this recipe over the stove top, would it be on high heat or medium? Only about two hours?
I want to make this recipe soon. I’ll be looking forward to your reply. Thank you!!
To make birria de res on the stove top, start with medium. After about 20 minutes, turn it to medium low.
:Hello! Do you think Chamorro would work well with this birria recipe? And, do you think it would make a good filling for tamales? Thank you.
Yes! Chamorro is perfect for birria and for tamales.
I have never had Mexican stew before, so thought I would give it a try. Wow! It was delicious! Will definitely make this again!
So glad you enjoyed it. Such a great recipe!
Maggie, buen dia.
What cut of beef works best with this recipe?
Chuck, Sirloin, Round, etc???
I use chuck roast.
I thought I read somewhere in the comments that there was a section on the recipe where we could adjust the servings and it would recalculate all the ingredients but I can’t figure out where or how, an I wrong?
You can adjust almost all my recipes except for this one. This recipe is on a different recipe plugin. Sorry.
How long should I slow cook a 6lb chuck roast using this recipe?
In the slow cooker, set it for 8 hours on low. The meat will be fork tender.
Looks delicious. Can I used dried peppers for this? Still heat it up to release flavor?
Dried chiles are used to make the sauce.