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What is Birria? - The Most Tasty Breakfast in Mexico

DINING | Published on 06/03/2023
Optimizada how to make birria

One of the best things about travel is getting to experience the local cuisine, and when traveling to Mexico it would be remiss to miss out on birria tacos! While everyone knows that this colorful country loves its tacos, what you may not realize is birria de res, birria de chivo, caldo or broth de birria, and birria quesadillas are considered breakfast dishes.

This means you need to hit the streets early and leave your idea of pancakes and eggs back on the plane. When staying at a hotel or resort, be sure to ask the concierge, “Are there birria tacos near me?” This way you don’t miss out on one of Mexico’s quintessential breakfast dishes. 

What is Birria?

People gush about birria tacos and birria quesadillas when the dish is actually a meat stew! This is why the location serving the classic dish will ask if you want caldo, or broth, served with your order.

So, what is birria? The dish supposedly originated in Jalisco and is a meat stew that has been simmering with an assortment of chilies like chile guajillo and ancho chile and spices including cumin, thyme, cinnamon, clove, pepper, salt, oregano, and bay leaves. Recipes vary from kitchen to kitchen but the fundamentals are chilies and meat slow cooked in its own juices. 

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Birria de Res VS Birria de Chivo

When it comes to how to make birria tacos, you need to decide on your carnivore preference. Birria tacos can be made with beef, lamb, goat, or occasionally pork. Birria de res will be beef stew, and birria de chivo will be goat stew, the latter being the original version of the dish. If you’re in search of birria tacos near me, you may want to confirm what meat they use if you have an aversion to anything specific.

As for how to make birria tacos, it’s a bit more complicated than simply filling tortillas with stewed goat. What gives this traditional breakfast its devoted following is the details. The tortillas are first dipped into the fat that simmers at the top of the stew before they are heated on the griddle anywhere from warm to crispy. 

When you ask a local what is birria, they’re going to give you a few options but for your tacos the best choice is blando or dorado. If you want your tortillas flavored but soft, then order tacos blandos, but if you like them crispy, opt for tacos dorado. For birria quesadillas, the difference is the addition of cheese, and the tortilla is often larger and made of flour instead of corn. 

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How to Make Birria Tacos at Home

There are several recipes online, so be careful when selecting versions that don’t come from Mexican roots. Find a Mexican grocer and buy whole dried chilies, fresh corn tortillas, and choose spices that still smell pungent and make your mouth water.

Choose beef or goat for your stew and don’t skimp on the fresh cilantro or onion on top. To keep it authentic, go with a slow cooker because birria is more than just stew, it’s a labor of love.

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