Do you want to know what Birria Quesadillas are and how to make them at home?
Birria Quesadillas are the juiciest meaty tacos you’ll ever have. A simple birria de consommé and melty Oaxaca cheese filled in a corn tortilla. It’s bliss in a taco.
Images of fried and crispy meat and cheese Birria quesadillas have taken social media by storm, and for a good reason. Everyone seems to be in love with this meaty Mexican taco version nowadays.
It might be a discovery for food lovers worldwide, but it has been around for many years. It’s a famous Mexican dish that you can easily make at home. This article will determine how to make the best Birria Quesadillas at your home. Let’s start, shall we?
What is Birria Quesadillas?
Birria Quesadillas, also known as Quesabirria, are made with Birria meat (pronounced “beer-ya”), cheese, and tortillas.
Birria, used in Quesadillas, is a meat stew made with lamb, goat, or beef. The meat tastes delicious, infused with spicy Mexican chilies.
Most places in Mexico serve it with birria broth, also famous as consommé. This broth results from hours of cooking the meat with nice chilies and spices. Some people eat it with optional salsas and garnishes like lime, pickled habaneros, or radish.
The main dish, birria meat, originates from Jalisco, Mexico. Traditionally, it’s served on celebratory occasions, but nowadays, it’s a staple food of Mexico. Everyone loves it.
Firstly, the Aztec people first used corn tortillas as sweet desserts. They would fill tortillas with pumpkin and squash and then bake them in the wooden oven.
Later this Mexican dish evolved, and people enjoyed the meat and cheese-filled tortilla. The meat used in quesabirria is inspired by the traditional birria stew of Jalisco.
The recipe is not complicated, but there are a few techniques that you need to learn before making flavorful birria quesadillas on your own at home.
A Few Important Things About Ingredients of Birria Quesadillas
Cut of Meat: For birria quesadillas, choose short ribs (bone-in) though any other cut will be fine. Bone-in ribs or beef bone can be used for the lovely thick texture of birria broth.
Guajillo Peppers: The most common Mexican chili used for cooking is Guajillo chile. These peppers are mild and give great color and flavor to the broth. For a more heaty spice, you can add chili de Arbol or any other chili according to your preference.
Type of Meat: Goat is what is traditionally used in this recipe, but you can use red meat, lamb, and beef, as well. The key is to use tougher cuts that can tenderize in sauce perfectly.
You can find many ways to make birria quesadillas, but we prefer the form completed with consommé. A fresh, rich soup in which you dunk rich cheesy meat quesadillas.
You’ll need the following ingredient to make Quesabirria at home:
- Chilies: 5 Ancho Chilies, Guajillo Chilies (Use for sweetness), Chili De Arbol, Morita Chilies (Use for smokiness)
- Beef Meat: 1 pound boneless chuck roast, three beef short ribs with bones, and 1 pound oxtail
- Salt: 1 tablespoon
- Large onion: 1 (diced)
- Garlic cloves: 8 (roughly chopped)
- Diced Tomatoes: 12 grams
- Corn Tortilla
The Birria Quesadillas require a lot of small steps. All steps need specific attention for the best result.
Let’s start with chilies, the main hero of the birria quesadillas.
Prepare the Chiiles
Everyone uses their style and comb of chilies. We will use the following chilies for the best spicy broth in this recipe:
|5 Ancho Chilies|
|5 Guajillo Chilies (Use for sweetness)|
|2 Chili De Arbol|
|Morita Chilies (Use for smokiness)|
- Take a bowl, add your chilies and add enough warm water to cover the chilies. Now leave them to soften for about 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, take the chilies out of the water and remove all the seeds and stems by hand. Once you remove all unnecessary seeds, place the pepper aside, for you’ll need to use them in the recipe.
Cook the Meet
The traditional recipe calls for goat meat, but you can also opt for beef. Beef is widely available, and it tastes more delicious in this recipe. Once you decide which meat you want to try in this recipe, the next step is to get the right cuts. For this recipe, you’ll need boneless beef chuck rolls and bone-in beef short ribs. Bones of beef contain collagen and flavor that add rich flavor that everyone will rave about.
- Place your meat cuts in a large pan and generously season them with salt.
- Take a large pot, place it on medium heat and add oil that evenly coats the bottom.
- Add your batches of meat and sear for two to three minutes from all sides. Once you get a nice brown-colored crust all over the piece of meat and it locks up more flavor, remove the meat from the pot and put it aside.
We have chile pepper, but we need more species to give the birria a well-balanced flavor.
Like chilies, everyone uses their own choice of species for this recipe.
We will use the following spices for our meat broth:
|One tablespoon or 8 grams of black peppercorns|
|One tablespoon or five grams of roasted coriander seed|
|One cinnamon stick of 3-4 inches|
|1-2 Dried Avocado leaves|
|1-2 teaspoons of all spices|
|Six bay leaves|
|Mexican oregano (optional)|
- Add all the spices to a piece of cheesecloth in the center. Fold all sides together and tie the cheesecloth tightly; this becomes a small flavor sachet.
- You can either toss the spice on medium heat or blend it in a spice grinder to get a nice-kick fine powder for the broth.
Note: If you can find Mexican oregano, it’d be best; otherwise, skip this ingredient. Don’t replace it with Italian oregano, which has a minty undertone. We need Mexican oregano for this recipe with citrusy and earthy undertones.
- Take the same pot you use for meat to cook the broth.
- Add all the ingredients step by step and give it a 30-minute simmer.
- First, add chopped yellow onion and saute them until they soften. Then add 12 grams of tomato paste until you see the paste darken slowly. Finely add eight cloves of sliced garlic and saute them until fragrant.
- Now add two-and-a-half quartz-rich beef stocks. Make your beef stock at home for this recipe because it’s the heart and soul of the flavor of this recipe.
- You can slow-cook the broth on the stove or use a Dutch oven if you have one at home. It’ll take 3 hours at 350F degrees to cook the broth in the Dutch oven.
Note: Make sure to preheat the oven to 350F.
Some also use instant pots or slow cookers, so pick a way that suits you better. You’ll have to cook the broth for 45 minutes and 6-7 hours on a slow cooker or an instant pot.
The Juicy Part
- The primary step comes: mix everything and give it a nice boil.
- Add all the dry pepper/chilies to the broth pot, add your cooked meat, and toss the spice sachet on it. Give them all a boil and let them cook for half an hour.
- Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the impurities that might have come from the bone. Cover the broth with a lid and braise for half an hour again.
- Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
After an hour:
- Remove it from the stove and let it cool down a bit. When the pepper gets softened, it’s time to blend it.
- Take out the chilies and 1-2 cups of broth liquid and add them into a blender.
- Blend this until it turns into a smooth paste. You’ll get a nice vibrant orange puree.
- Note: Strain your blended chilies to get a smoother broth.
- Pour it into the meat and stew pot, simmer it, place a lid and braise for one and a half hours again until the meat cooks properly.
- Take the meat from the pot and add it to a large bowl. Use a fork or hand to discard all the bone from it. Shred the meat and fat in chunky or thin threads; choose how you like.
- Season the leftover broth with salt to make a nice consommé.
Getting fresh corn tortillas from the market will work for this recipe; however, why not make them yourself when you can? You need three main ingredients: Masa harina, sea salt, and hot water to make a soft, gluten-free delicious tortilla.
Masa Harina: Ground masa corn flour has many health benefits compared to whole corn flour. It’s rich in niacin, fiber, vitamin A, zinc, and iron. Masa Harina is not only the healthiest option, but Mexicans use it for birria quesadillas because it’s packed with flavors.
You can easily find it in your nearby grocery store.
Sea Salt: Fine sea salt is best for corn tortillas, but you can opt for standard table salt if you don’t have sea salt.
It would be best to have a non-stick pan or skillet, so the tortilla doesn’t stick to the bottom while cooking. Place the roll-out tortilla between two plastic sheets and press it evenly with a flat-bottom skillet. You can use a tortilla press if you have one in your kitchen.
Knead the dough
You get everything ready now; let’s get to the central part. Add masa harina, salt, and 2.5 cups of hot water to the bowl. Now mix it evenly or knead it on a floured surface. Make cohesive balls. The texture should be firm and springy. If the dough feels wet, add some more flour to it, and in case it feels dry add one or two tablespoons of hot water.
Let it rest
Cover your dough bowl with a damp kitchen cloth and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Take two tablespoons of dough. Roll it in your hands to make a nice round ball of dough.
Roll out the dough ball
You can roll out the ball by placing it between two plastic covers and gently pressing it with a flat skillet.
Cook the tortilla
Now take the pan and put it on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the tortilla flat on it. Let the tortilla cook for about 40-60 seconds from each side. Once you get speckled brown spots on the bottom of the tortilla, flip it. The bubble will form on the tortilla while cooking, especially on the second side, which signifies that your corn tortilla is ready. Remove it from the heat and place it in the dish.
You can make them fresh on the spot or cook them beforehand.
A quick tip for reheating your tortilla: Before making birria quesadillas, take your corn tortilla and wrap them in a damp paper towel. Wrap in a microwave-safe resealable plastic bag and place in the microwave for about 1 minute. It’ll turn out soft and ready to use for birria quesadillas.
Filling Tortilla With Meat and Cheese
Now we are on the last but most crucial step; assembling Birria Quesadillas.
You can buy any cheese for your kitchen, but it’s best to get your hands on the finest.
Oaxaca cheese: It steps up the flavor game of Birria Quesadillas. Tear the cheese into tiny threads for easy melting.
- Take the fresh corn tortillas and dunk them into broth/stew completely. It’ll get covered in vibrant orange color.
- Tip: This will also help skim some fat from the stew itself.
- Take a skillet, place it on medium heat, and put the dunked corn tortilla. Now top the tortillas with a generous amount of cheese.
- Let them cook for a while until the cheese starts to melt. Now it’s time for the meaty part of the recipe. Place a generous amount of birria on one side of your tortilla—the more meat, the better the taste. But don’t overload it. Now drizzle a large spoon of consommé on top of the flesh and fold your tortilla halfway. Leave it to cook for two to three minutes from both sides until you get a nice brown color. Once the meat and cheese stick out from the side, your dish is ready to devour.
Serve with consommé
Take a small bowl that is enough for dipping the birria quesadillas. Add the broth or consommé and top with diced sweet onion and roughly chopped cilantro; this is an optional part.
Now your birria quesadillas are ready to get dunked into the consommé. Serve and enjoy!
What do Birria Quesadillas taste like?
Birria Quesadillas have a rich, brothy meat taste. It’s infused with Mexican chilies, which makes it amazingly spicy. The tortilla and meat are tender and cooked on perfect heat.
What meat is used in Birria Quesadillas?
Traditional Mexican Birria Quesadillas are prepared with goat meat. However, you can either use beef or lamb as well. It will still taste delicious. The meat choice is a more personal preference; use beef or lamb if you don’t like a goat.
Which type of meat is used in Birria Quesadillas?
It’s best to use tougher cuts of meat from goat or beef that will tenderize better and be more flavorful. You can choose from short ribs, chuck, beef shoulder, lamb leg, shoulder, and stew meat. Whatever you use, the key is to use one teaspoon of salt per pound of flesh.
Even though this dish is becoming famous in all countries, its origin goes back to the southern regions of Mexico. The Birria Quesadillas are not only served on holidays in Mexico but used as a hangover remedy, and according to locals, it works like a charm.
Please do yourself a favor and use this recipe to make this delicious Mexican-style taco in your home and enjoy it with friends and family.