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Birria Quesa Tacos featuring Famous New Mexico Chile

  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 2-taco servings 1x


One bite and you’ll know why everyone is trying Birria QuesaTacos! Deliciously tender beef that is slow cooked in a medley of pureed mild chile peppers, herbs and other spices is stuffed into a corn tortilla with a mozzarella-like mexican cheese (Oaxaca cheese), and diced onion. THEN, the tortilla is fried in the fat and chile sauce that has rendered from cooking the beef, giving these tacos a deep red color and spectacular flavor. Served with EVEN MORE chile sauce for dipping. 



Birria Beef

  • 8 dried Hatch Red Chile pods
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds of beef brisket or beef chuck roast
  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Hatch green chile powder
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 bay leaves

Birria Quesa Tacos (quesatacos)

  • 20 Red Hatch Chile infused Corn Tortillas (or plain Corn Tortillas)
  • 16 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese (or Oaxaca cheese if you can find it)
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges for garnish topping


For the Birria Beef

  1. Set your oven to 350 degrees F. Place Hatch red chiles onto a baking sheet spread out into a single layer. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until puffy. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Tear off and discard the stems, shaking out the seeds and discarding them as well. Place the chile pods into a bowl and add just enough water to cover and soak the chiles. If necessary, place an additional bowl over the top to keep the chile pods submerged. Set aside. Leave the oven on.
  2. Set a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil. Blot all beef cuts with paper towels, then season all sides generously with salt, pepper and green chile powder. Working in batches, sear the beef on all sides, then remove to a plate. Turn off the heat to the Dutch oven.
  3. Place the soaked chile pods, 1 cup of water from the chiles, cloves of garlic, whole cloves, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, and tomato sauce into a blender. Blend until pureed, adding more chile soaking water as necessary, to make a sauce.
  4. Pour roughly 1/2 cup chile sauce into the bottom of the Dutch oven (or enough to coat the bottom). Place all cuts of beef into the pot, and pour out the remaining chile sauce all over the beef. Place onion quarters and bay leaves around meat cuts. Add just enough water to cover the beef. Cover with a well fitting lid and place beef into the preheated oven and cook for about 4 and 1/2 hours or until beef is very tender and falling off the bone.
  5. Scoop out the Birria beef, leaving the sauce in the pot, and place into a large bowl. Discard the onion, bay leaves and any large fat pieces from the beef, and shred the meat. Cover Birria beef and set aside. What sauce is left in the pot will become the dipping sauce for the tacos. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in any additional water (or beef broth) to thin to a desired consistency. Keep warm by setting Dutch oven over low heat with the cover on.

To Make Birria Quesatacos

  1. Set a cast iron skillet or other non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Dip both sides of a corn tortilla into the top of the Birria sauce, (where all the really red fat is sitting) and place into the skillet. Sprinkle one-half of the tortilla with cheese, chopped onion, and Birria meat. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until the tortilla begins to darken. Fold the tortilla in half over the meat and fry both sides for an additional 30 seconds to crisp. Remove and repeat to make more tacos. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with a side of Birria sauce and lime wedges.


Birria Quesatacos for the Croc Pot: Simply replace the Dutch oven in step 4 with a slow cooker/Croc Pot set to low heat. Cook beef for 8-10 hours, then follow the recipe as outlined, keeping the Birria sauce in the slow cooker on warm setting.

  • Category: entree
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: New Mexican


  • Serving Size: 2 tacos

Keywords: Birria, Birria Quesatacos, Birria Quesa Tacos, Hatch Green Chile, Hatch Red Chile, Hatch Chile, New Mexico, Tacos, Street tacos, Taco vender, Taco truck