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These Slow Cooker Birria Tacos are an twist on traditional birria tacos. They’re made in a crockpot then assembled when ready to eat! I decided to make these with ingredients that are a little easier to find but still give an amazing end result you’d expect in birria tacos!
What are Birria Tacos?
Birria refers to traditional Mexican dish of goat or beef stewed with chilis and spices in a savory sauce. However the birria a lot of people are searching for now (the trendy, Instagram worthy birria tacos), are the ones like this birria recipe made with cheese and broth for dipping.
The great part about this recipe is that the consommé and meat are all made in the crockpot at the same time. It can cook all day then just get assembled when you’re ready to eat.
How to make birria tacos in a slow cooker:
This recipe starts with a chuck roast. It’s a relatively inexpensive piece of meat that is perfect for slow cooking and shredding. You’ll add that to a slow cooker (no need to sear) then add in the remaining ingredients right on top. I actually have 2 chuck roasts I the photos here because my store only had small ones when I made these.
The only ingredient that might be a little trickier to find is the ancho chilis. Most grocery stores will have these in the international section or you can stop by a latin grocery store like I did. You can also find them here on amazon. You’ll want to cut the tops off of your peppers and just shake out the seeds. Then add them in the slow cooker whole.
What can you substitute for an ancho chili:
Once you’ve added the dry ingredients to the slow cooker, you can add in your liquids. This is going to get simmered for 8 hours on low.
After the 8 hours, you can pull out the meat and shred it. It should fall apart really easily and be nice and tender.
Options for the remaining broth:
- Leave it as is and strain it (my preference)
- Blend everything together (including the anchos) for a slightly thicker sauce.
Now you’re ready to assemble your birria tacos!
Dip your corn tortillas into the warm broth. There should be a thin layer of fat on the top of the liquid and that is what will get your tacos nice and crispy.
Then you want to place the tortilla in an un-greased skillet on medium heat and fill the whole thing with cheese and half way with the shredded beef. This is also when you can add in cilantro and onion if you want them inside the tacos. You could also leave them plain and let everyone customize their own but that’s up to you.
Once the cheese is melted, you can fold them in half and you’re ready to serve!
How to keep tacos warm while cooking.
If you are making a lot of tacos, you can heat your oven to 200 degrees and add them to a baking sheet in the oven as they finish cooking. This will keep them warm until serving.
Once finished, you can serve them with extra lime, cilantro, and onions and of course the broth for dipping!
Slow Cooker Birria Tacos
- Slow Cooker
Slow cooker ingredients
- 4 pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 large yellow or white onion - diced (save some for serving)
- 5 large garlic cloves (or about 3 tablespoons minced garlic)
- 3 large dried ancho chili peppers (or Guajillo chili peppers)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 heaping tablespoon salt
- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (not tradition but great here!)
- 5 cups beef broth
Assembling the tacos
- 10 corn tortillas
- 2 cups melty Mexican cheese (I used a white quesadilla blend but Oaxacan is traditional if you can find it)
- white onions
- fresh lime wedges
- Add the chuck roast to the slow cooker.
- Cut the tops off of your ancho chili's, shake out the seeds and discard them. Then add the whole peppers to the slow cooker. You'll remove these later so it's easiest to leave them whole.
- Top with the onions (save some for serving later), garlic, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, tomato sauce, lime juice, Worcestershire, lime juice, and beef broth.
- Stir the liquid together and set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
- After the 8 hours remove the meat and shred. You can use 2 forks to do this on a plate. Leave the liquid in the slow cooker. Do not add the meat back to the liquid.
Options for the liquid
- I prefer to leave the liquid as-is and just strain it into small cups to dip the tacos.
- OR you could also blend the liquid with the peppers and onions to create a little bit thicker of a sauce. You can use an immersion blender or carefully add it to a regular blender.
Assembling the birria tacos
- The first thing I like to do is chop some onions and cilantro and slice some limes.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Take 1 corn tortilla at a time and gently dip it into the slow cooker liquid then immediately add it to the hot un-greased pan.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the entire tortilla then add meat to half of the tortilla.
- You can add toppings also at this point if you want them inside the taco. I also add an extra little sprinkle of salt.
- Cook until the cheese melts and the tortilla is browning then fold to close.
- Set the tacos aside and continue to cook all of the tacos. You can also add these to a tray in the oven on 200° to keep them warm if you are making a lot of tacos.
- Ladle the beef consommé into small dipping cups and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, cilantro, and onions!