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Birria (Mexican Stew)

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Prep Time: 40m

Cook Time: 2 to 3h

Total Time: 3 to 4h

Servings: 4 to 6



  • 4 guajillo chiles

  • 4 ancho chiles

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1 pound beef top round, cubed for stew

  • 1 pound baby back ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 ½ quarts water

  • 1 onion

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 6 sprigs thyme

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup diced onion

  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

  • Corn tortillas, as an accompaniment



  1. On hot griddle toast the ancho and gaujillo chile and submerge in hot water. Let chiles sit for 20 minutes. Remove from water and puree in blender with a cup of warm water. Set aside.

  2. In a deep Dutch oven, add the beef, ribs, water, onion, and garlic cloves. Bring to boil and cook for 1 hour.

  3. At this point add the bay leaves, thyme, chile puree, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Serve the stew on top of two tortillas (so the taco doesn't get soggy), with white onion, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime on top.

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