Birria Tacos
Veal Birria Tacos are served with elote, and a side of sour cream and dipping sauce.

Birria Tacos

A typical street food, Birria Tacos are a more involved form of your ground meat tacos. They are worth the time in the kitchen! They take a little more time, but they aren’t hard. For the best birria, plan to marinate the meat overnight. Cooking low and slow transforms the stew meat into a juicy, tender filling. To save time, use a slow cooker or pressure cooker in Step 4. Just get it started before you leave for work, and you’ll be ready for taco night when you get home!
Veal meat makes a great taco because it soaks up all those delicious flavors and delivers them to your taste buds on a platter, in this case in form of a taco. You can thank the New Orleans Culinary Institute and Chef Scott for this great recipe. It really shows you the versatility of veal, can’t find veal stew meat? Talk to your butcher or order it online. To learn more about shopping for veal, visit our webpage!
Substitutions Ideas:
This recipe creates a very spicy birria, if you want something less spicy try using less of the adobo and more stock
If you can’t find ancho or guajillo chilies you can try other chilies, the flavor will only be a little different, you might want to try green chilies
The toppings on these can be whatever you want, that’s what’s so great about tacos, right?
If you try this recipe, let us know how it turned out. Next on your list of ‘to-do’s’ should be these Southwestern Veal Tacos or these Veal Fajitas!


  • 3 dried ancho or guajillo chilies
  • 7-oz can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup diced or crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 lbs. veal shank or stew meat, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
  • To taste kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion (about 1 onion)
  • 1 quart beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For the tacos (makes 12 to 16 4-inch tacos)
  • 3 cups shredded quesadilla, chihuahua, or cheddar cheese
  • 12 to 16 4-inch corn tortillas
  • To taste other fillings, such as minced white onion and chopped cilantro

Elote (Mexican Street Corn) (makes 4 servings) 

  • 4 cobs fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • To taste kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 limes
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese (SUB: grated parmesan)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder, preferably ancho chili
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


1. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer and add the dried peppers to a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot water over the peppers and let them soak for 15 minutes.

2. Use a blender, stick blender, or food processor to purée the soaked dried chiles with the chipotles in adobo (use the peppers and the sauce), garlic, tomatoes, oregano, paprika, and cumin.

3. In a large mixing bowl or dish, season the veal all over with salt and pepper, then cover with the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature or, if possible, refrigerate overnight. Longer is better.

4. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Pour in the meat along with all the marinade, then add the stock, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and let simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender.

5. Remove the meat from the pot, using a fork to shred it, and leave the stew behind.

6. To make the tacos, heat a large skillet or griddle over medium. Working in batches, dip the tortillas in the stew (especially the fatty layer on top) and toast in the skillet. Fill each one with a bit of veal birria, top with cheese and other desired toppings, and fold over. Cook until crisp on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with a side of warm stew for dipping.

Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

1. If you’re roasting the corn, preheat the oven to 375F. If you’re grilling, get a medium-high flame going.

2. Rub the corn with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast or grill directly over the flames until lightly browned (if you’re grilling, look for light charring in places).

3. Zest and juice 1 lime into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and hot sauce. Add the cheese to a wide, shallow bowl or plate.

4. Brush or spoon the lime mayo to evenly coat the corn, then roll each cob in the cheese. Sprinkle all over with chili powder.

5. Cut the remaining lime into wedges and serve with the elote, sprinkled with cilantro if using.