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All About Birria Beef Tacos: Discover their Unique Flavors and Rich History

All About Birria Beef Tacos: Discover their Unique Flavors and Rich History

What’s not to love about tacos? Their crispy outside and flavorful inside make them one of the top Mexican foods that can be enjoyed anywhere, whether sitting down or standing up. Given their rising popularity in the US, we couldn’t help but wonder about their rich history and special recipe. 

Today, our main protagonists are birria beef tacos, the ultimate and most popular kind of tacos with origins dating back to the 16th Century! From their peculiar history to their simple recipe, we’re here to show how awesome birria beef tacos are. Plus, we’ll recommend the best place to try them: Taquería La Luz.

FYI—once you end reading this article, you’ll crave one of these bad boys!     

History and significance in Mexican culture

Let’s take a trip to the past—to 16th-century Mexico, to be more precise. In the Southwest of Guadalajara, there’s a small town called Cocula in the state of Jalisco. During the Columbian Exchange, Spaniards brought a variety of animals and new spices to Mexico, disrupting the flavor and dishes of the area.

Among them was the goat, an invasive species that ate and bred at an incredibly fast pace. So, unfortunately, they destroyed numerous crops on the way. In addition to this mess, natives had to deal with diseases brought by the Europeans.

Given their immense population and lack of options, natives started eating goat meat. As the meat was tough and had a strong taste and smell, they added herbs and spices to enhance a more pleasant flavor, and they cooked it in underground pits for many hours. That’s when the birriero, AKA birria maker was born.

However, this dish didn’t leave the area until a number of years later. Our next period in history jumps to the 1950s when a man named Don Guadalupe Zárate opened a street stand in Tijuana. 

He decided to replace the goat meat with beef, and, according to the legend, someone asked him to add more liquid to the recipe to prevent the meat from getting burnt. So, the meat was cooked slowly along with vegetables, herbs, and spices to make a flavorful stew, also known as consomé.

Receta de consomé de carne y verduras
courtesy of unareceta.com

Later, in the 1980s, although birria de res gained popularity, it didn’t compete with other traditional Mexican flavors. Given their cultural significance, birria is served at celebrations, such as weddings or special holidays.

Did you know that, in Mexico, it is common to eat birria beef tacos for breakfast? That sounds a bit wild! 

Growing popularity in the US

In recent years, birria beef tacos have gained a lot of popularity in the US, and for good reason! The first stand opened in Los Angeles in 2013 and from then on, it spread through the country, reaching almost every corner. 

Actually, around 2020, birria beef tacos became the trendiest food due to their rich flavor and comfort food characteristics.

The ultimate recipe: birria beef tacos

Let’s get down to the wire: How do Mexicans prepare birria beef tacos? Next, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks to make an authentic recipe coming straight from Mexico.

First, you’ll need a few essential items:

  • instant pot or slow cooker
  • skillet
  • sharped cooking knife

Now, let’s see what ingredients we’ll need:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 dried chiles Guajillo
  • 4 dried chiles Ancho
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Diced onions (optional)

Next, we’ll give a step-by-step guide on how to prepare the best birria beef tacos ever!

  1. Add the beef, onion, garlic, chiles, oregano, cumin, and beef broth into a large pot.
  2. Cook the mixture until it boils.
  3. Lower the heat and leave it for at least 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender.
  4. Remove the meat from the pot and shred it using a fork.
  5. Set the beef broth aside.
  6. Heat the skillet at medium heat.
  7. After dipping a tortilla inside the broth, transfer it to the skillet.
  8. Add some shredded beef with cheese and fold the tortilla in half.
  9. Cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy on the outside.
  10. Serve with chopped cilantro and sliced onions.

There you have it! Although it seems a bit tricky, we assure you it’s simpler than it seems. And the best part comes after doing all this work—time to eat!

But if you’re one of those people who prefer buying their food at a nice local restaurant, you should definitely visit Taquería La Luz, located in Upper Westside Atlanta. Their menu is filled with taco options and other Mexican foods. They serve fresh and delicious tacos that will surely blow you away!

Conclusion: Enjoy These Birria Beef Tacos Whenever You Want

Are you eager to try these yummy tacos? We told you that would happen! Their immense amount of flavor, tenderness, and juiciness make birria beef tacos an awesome choice when you’re craving a good ol’ taco. Although you can make these tacos yourself, we recommend visiting an original Mexican restaurant such as Taquería La Luz to enjoy a taste of Mexican culture. You won’t regret it!

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