If you have not tried Birria Tacos before then you need to get onto this recipe. The whole dish does have minimal prep needed and then you marinate and cook. These incredible tacos will have the whole family raving about just how great a cook you are!
What are Birria Tacos?
Birria is traditionally a slow cooked stew, made with goat meat and plenty of Mexican spices and flavours. The current viral street-food version involves dipping tortillas in the fat from the stew and frying the folded and filled quesadillas until crisp.
They are also known as quesabirria tacos. Essentially they are a cross between a taco and a quesadilla when they are folded and fried.
Using keto tortillas makes this a delicious low carb beef birria taco recipe. A Mexican meal that the whole family will enjoy. You can use any tortilla of choice, but because I do live a low carb lifestyle so that is why I prefer to use my amazing tortillas.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
Low carb family favourite – made with our low carb tortillas these tacos are only 3g net carbs.
Mostly pantry staple ingredients – With the exception of Mexican chillies, the remaining ingredients are all pantry staples.
Quick and easy – There is very little active preparation and cooking time involved, and the steps are quick and simple!
Cook it your way – You can cook this in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or a multi-function appliance like the Ninja.
Thermal-cooker friendly – This is an easy recipe and I have included instructions for making the Birria with a Thermomix as well.
Ingredients Needed to Make Birria Tacos
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the quantity of each ingredient used and the full detailed recipe for this delicious keto birria tacos recipe! Keep reading for more details on the ingredients, substitutes and step by step instructions on how to make them.
Guajillo chillies – These are a large smokey Mexican chilli that imparts incredible flavour. Spice merchants online are a good place to source them, but if you can’t, try substituting with pasillas, ancho chillies or even chipotles in a pinch.
Chipotles in adobo – These are chipotle chillies in a tangy, rich, flavoured tomato sauce. They add more smokey flavour to the stew. They are available in the Mexican cuisine aisle at most supermarkets.
Tinned tomatoes – You can use a tin of tomatoes or fresh ones. As they are going to be blended for the marinade, it doesn’t matter if you get diced or whole tinned tomatoes.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Using apple cider vinegar in a marinade makes it more tender, in addition to adding an element of flavouring.
Baking soda – This is also known as Bicarbonate of Soda, and is NOT the same as baking powder. It is added as a tenderiser for the meat but can be left out if you prefer.
Beef Short Ribs – I prefer to use meat on the bone to add extra flavour and collagen to the stew. You can use chuck or gravy beef if preferred. If cooking by thermal method boneless beef is better. You can use any budget cut of beef or lamb. This is also delicious with the traditional goat meat.
Stock – A good quality stock is important, and you can choose either a chicken or beef stock for this recipe. I do recommend a good quality stock though. It helps with the flavour so much.
Keto Tortillas – Keto Tortillas are quick and easy to prepare using my recipe.
Mexican Cheese – This is available in the chilled section of most supermarkets. You can also substitute it with cheddar if you prefer.
How to Make Birria Tacos
Step 1: Rehydrate the guajillo by soaking in some boiled water.
Step 2: Prepare the marinade and cover the meat with it before marinating for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Add the marinated meat and the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. This can also be done in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. If you are cooking on the stovetop make sure you turn down to low and cook until the meat pulls away from the bone or is soft.
Step 4: Natural release the steam (see FAQ section) before removing the meat and shredding it.
Step 5: Season the consommé with salt to taste. Prepare the ingredients ready for frying.
How to Serve
Here are some simple steps to show you how to serve birria tacos with consommé.
Step 1. Place the tortilla into the strained stew sauce. (If using flour tortillas or low carb tortillas do this quickly so as to not make the tortilla too soggy). This can be done immediately after cooking or after chilling. As you can see from my image I did this the next day.
HOT TIP. Heat the sauce a little if it has been chilled. The solidified fats will add extra fats to the tortilla and help it get crispier when fried.
Step 2. Place the tortilla into a cold skillet and fill half with shredded cheese and shredded beef.
Step 3. Close to enfold into the taco shape and repeat with 2 (or more) tacos evenly spaced out in your skill. Cover over medium-high heat, just turning once until crispy on both sides.
Frequently Asked Questions
I prefer to use meat on the bone to add extra flavour and collagen to the stew. You can use chuck roast or gravy beef if preferred. If cooking birria tacos in the Thermomix boneless beef is better.
You can use any budget cut of beef or lamb. This is also delicious with goat meat.
Mexican chillies have a very different flavour and ‘heat’ profile than cayenne chillies or Asian varieties. Using another type will not give you the same Mexican flavours, and could result in the Birria being too spicy as well. If you need to substitute just use chipotles in adobo from the supermarket.
Soaking dried chillies rehydrates them so that the flavour is released more readily into whatever you are cooking.
Any pressure cooker can be used instead of an Instant Pot. The instructions for cooking the Birria will be the same!
Blade covers are still relatively new accessories, so if you don’t have one as yet, you will not be able to cook meat on the bone in your Thermal cooker. Choosing boneless cuts instead may give you slightly less depth of flavour, but there is plenty of flavour to make up for it!
More Recipes To Try
I have lots of tasty keto Mexican recipes for you to try! Some of my favourites are:
Keto Wraps – these wraps will also work perfectly for this recipe
Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken – want to make chicken birria tacos? Simple use this recipe to make your own.
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Birria Tacos with Consommé (and Keto option)
- 1 kg beef short ribs or 750g chuck steak, see notes
- 3 dried guajillo peppers see notes
- 0.25 cup chipotle peppers in adobo (145g)
- 0.5 cup tinned tomatoes (145g)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (40g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda see notes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 0.25 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 cups beef stock or chicken stock
- 8 keto tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Plenty of lime wedges and fresh coriander leaves
INSTANT POT/NINJA METHOD/SLOW COOKER
- Place the guajillo in a small bowl and cover with boiled water. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes. Remove the thick stem and discard the water before adding to the marinade.
- Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor including the pre-soaked and softened guajillos. Blend the marinade until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the meat and turn to coat. Marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot including the marinated meat; set to high pressure/45 minutes. If using a slow cooker; set to low heat for 4-6 hours.
- Natural release the steam and remove the meat. Shred the meat and discard the bones. Taste the sauce and season with salt to taste. See serving suggestions.
- Separate the meat from the consomme (sauce). Dip a soft tortilla into the consomme and place it into the bottom of the skillet. Fill half with cheese and shredded beef. Close and repeat with 2-3 depending on the size of your skillet.
- Fry the tacos over medium-high heat. Gently flip after the base is crispy and browned. Serve with lime, coriander, guacamole, and a little salsa in the extra birria sauce for dipping your taco into. (I am such a messy easter that I just pour it over and eat with a knife and fork 🤣)
- Place the guajillo in a small bowl and cover with boiled water. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the marinade ingredients to the mixer including the pre-soaked and softened guajillo; chop 15 sec/speed 10. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the meat and turn to coat. Marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Add the oil, onion, and garlic to the mixer; cook 3 min/100°C/speed 1.
- Insert the blade cover (if using short ribs). Add the remaining ingredients; cook 4hrs/98°C/reverse/stir. Extend cooking time until meat is soft.
- Remove the meat and shred with 2 forks. Discard the bones. Taste the sauce and season with salt to taste. See serving suggestion above.
I prefer to use meat on the bone to add extra flavour and collagen to the stew. You can use chuck or gravy beef if preferred. If cooking by thermal method boneless beef is better.
You can use any budget cut of beef or lamb. This is also delicious with goat meat. CHILLIES
Guajillo chillies are a large smokey Mexican chilli that imparts incredible flavour. If you cannot source them try pasillas, ancho or chipotles in a pinch. Chipotles in adobo add a more smokey flavour to the stew. They are available in the Mexican cuisine aisle at most supermarkets. OTHER INGREDIENTS Baking soda is added as a tenderiser only. You can omit if preferred. I use tinned tomatoes but fresh is fine. SERVING SUGGESTIONS The tortillas are often dipped in the stew to colour and then filled and fried. I use keto tacos as my preferred taco shell. If you are not low carb I recommend corn tortillas over flour ones as the flour tortilla is likely to go all mushy. These are delicious served with pickled red onions, guacamole, Mexican fried cauliflower rice, or Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. Leftover birria is also perfect for Birria Tortilla Soup, Birria Ramen or Birria Quesadillas. This recipe yields approximately 6-8 servings. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 6-8. The result will be the weight of one serving. Nutritional values shown are guidelines only. They are for 1 serving using the ingredients listed. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on the brands and types of ingredients used. All recipes have been tested using all of the cooking methods included by various recipe testers. This recipe is prepared exclusively by Megan Ellam @Mad Creations™️. If you are seeing this recipe on another website it is in breach of my copyright and not authorised. You can contact me to report it. No images or content are to be used without my consent. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, store in an airtight container and freeze. The recipe card instructions contain the most basic of steps and a list of ingredients. If you have any queries, questions or are unsure of substitutions, please scroll up to the blog post for more information.
Your Own Notes
Megan Ellam is an Australian keto recipes blogger and author of amazing keto cookbooks such as Keto Mojo, Slow Cook Keto, Keto Loco, The Healthy Family Keto Cookbook and Every Day Keto.
Megan has been following a ketogenic diet since being diagnosed with insulin resistance in early 2017.
Are supposed to use all the marinade in the stew portion of the recipe?
Yes everything goes in together.
I love how easy and flavorful this dish is.
I made it and even my kids love it!
That is so awesome to hear Amy!