Servings: 6  |  Prep: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 3 hours 30 mins

Nutritional information: (average serve)

  • Calories: 287
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 5g
  • Fat total: 18g


5 ancho peppers stems and seeds removed

5 guajillo peppers stems and seeds removed

2-3 chiles de arbol optional, for spicier

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large white onion chopped

3 large tomatoes chopped

5 cloves garlic chopped

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

1 tablespoon sea salt or to taste

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 large roasted tomatoes chopped

4 cups beef stock separated

1.5 kg lamb shoulder or you can use beef shank or chuck roast


Step 1

Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the dried peppers. Dry toast them in the hot pan 1-2 minutes per side, until the skins darken.

Remove from heat and add the toasted peppers to a large bowl. Cover with hot water and steep 20 minutes, or until softened.

Step 2

While the peppers are rehydrating, heat the olive oil in the same pan to medium heat.

Add the onion and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute, stirring.

Step 3

Add the cooked onion, tomatoes and garlic to a food processor.

Remove the softened chilies and add to the food processor, but reserve the soaking liquid.

Add the seasonings to the food processor along with the vinegar and 1 cup beef stock. Process until smooth. It should be fairly thick. You can strain if you’d like for a smoother sauce.

Step 4

Cut the lamb (or beef) into large chunks and add to a large bowl.

Pour the birria sauce over them and rub it into the meat. Cover and marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 2 hours minimum. Overnight is better.

Step 5

When you’re ready to cook, add the meat with all of the marinade, the chopped roasted tomatoes and remaining 3 cups beef broth to a large pot. Cover and cook at medium heat for 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and easy to shred. Add more beef stock or some of the reserved soaking liquid if needed for a soupier birria.

Step 6

Serve the braised birria into bowls as a soup, or shred the meat and serve it up with a delicious salad, with the reserved liquid consumed from the pot as a side soup/broth.