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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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This looks amazing! I will totally be making this very soon! Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed this!
We are trying to find a recipe for Shredded Chicken Taco Salad made at El Rodeo Mexican Restaurants in Des Moines, Iowa. Can you help?
Hi. I have never been to Iowa. Hopefully someone here will see this post and help in answering.
Hey would u happen to have a smaller recipe ?
Check out my birria pizza recipe. That has a smaller recipe. https://inmamamaggieskitchen.com/birria-pizza/
I had Birria for the first time in tacos. I fell in love! I am wondering if this is the same type of recipe..dipping the tacos in the juice.
Can I use powdered cinnamon instead? If so, how much? Just trying to use the ingredient I already have on hand.
I’ve never made it with ground cinnamon before. Sorry. Maybe someone here will be able to comment.
Can this be made with goat meat?
Yes. Of course. It’s hard to find goat’s meat in the US. That’s why I adapted this recipe to beef many years ago.
Best birria ever! I’ve made it 4 times already and loved it every time! I’m making birria quesadillas tonight! 😋
Birria Quesadillas sounds delicious! Thank you for your comment. Really makes me happy to hear that you liked this recipe so much that you’ve made it 4 times!
Made this once before (forgot to toast chiles though) will remember this time and make again this weekend for a graduation party! I fried some queso fresco and added it on top of the taco with a roasted habanero salsa. So delicious! Thank you for this recipe!
Yum! That sounds so good.
This was so good!!! I made it for family and friends and they all enjoyed it … thank you 😊
You’re welcome! This is one of my family’s favorite recipes too.
I love the recipe!
I don’t have a slow cooker, can I make it in a regular pot?
Please let me know 🙂
Yes, the instructions for stove top (and instant pot) are in the recipe card under “NOTES.”
But, just in case, here they are… 🙂
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 90 minutes, up to 2 hours.
Until fork tender.
I made this for Cinco De Mayo and it turned out great. I will be making this again. Tanks for sharing your recipe.
That makes me so happy to hear. I love this recipe too.
I’ve made this twice and the third pot is in process right now, and the kitchen smells delicious! It’s always perfect. Thank you!
That’s great! So glad you like this recipe.
Recipe sounds almost perfect – I recently found a good source for cabrito. Should I make any special changes to make Birria de chivo? I’ve been craving that taste…..
No. This is the exact same recipe and instructions for chivo. I’m curious as to where you found the cabrito. I’d love to know!
Oh lord this is seriously one of the best recipes I have ever tried. I swear, YOU GOTTA SEAR IT to help lock in that amazing flavor. I did not do it once and it just did not taste the same. This recipe ruined birria for me as it is the only birria I eat. When I tried other places, they do not have that rich flavor like this one does. AMAZING! I 100% recommend.
This recipe was a huge hit at my house- a new favorite! I am so excited to have come across your site. I will surely be trying out some more of your recipes. Thank you for sharing! (BTW – I didn’t strain the sauce and it still came out amazing.)
Love this recipe made this a few times and my family loves it
Can you make the Chile mixture a day ahead and would it affect the taste of the dish?
I usually do this in stages so I won’t feel like I have been cooking all day. To answer your question, YES! Definitely!
Can I cook this on high in slow cooker , was out and lost track of time ?
On high for 4 hours.
Question, can I cook it on the crockpot for 4 hours on high instead of low 6 hrs?
Yes. I believe that instruction is in the post or in the recipe card. I’ll double check and add if not.