Quesobirria Tacos

If you haven’t already heard, birria is a Mexican-style stew. Traditionally, it is made with goat, but I use beef instead. To make quesobirria tacos, you are essentially making the stew, then using the meat and broth as part of the taco assembly process. You can then serve them with a little bowl of broth in which to dip the tacos. It’s sort of like a Mexican-style beef dip.

Let’s not waste any more time, you need to make these amazing tacos! Get out your pressure cooker (or Insta-Pot) and blender.


  • 3-4 pounds beef shank
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 3 dried guajillo peppers (substitute ancho or pasilla, if you must)
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional — you may be a lightweight)
  • 0.25 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (get Mexican oregano, if you can)
  • 0.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 quart chicken stock


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Colby cheese, grated


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil then turn off heat. Add guajillo peppers and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
  • Cube the shank into 2-inch chunks, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Add marinade ingredients to a blender. Remove peppers from water, remove stems, then cut open lengthwise. Remove veins and seeds, being careful not to remove the inner lining. Add peppers to blender, then blend into a smooth paste. Pour into a large freezer bag, then add meat. Mix thoroughly, then place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 2 hours (I let mine go for about 6 hours, but overnight would likely be better).
  • Set your Insta-Pot to the sauté setting (or use a skillet) and sauté the onions until translucent (6 to 10 minutes). Add the entire contents of the marinating bag plus cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves and chicken stock to the pot. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes (if using the slow cook setting, cook for 4-6 hours).
  • When the Insta-Pot is done, release the pressure and open. Remove the meat and shred, then set aside. Discard the bones.
  • Wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels, then microwave for 20-30 seconds. Dip the first tortilla in the broth — you don’t have to dip it deep into the broth, you basically just want to coat it in the grease that’s on top. Fill it with shredded beef, diced onion, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese. Fold over and fry in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until the tortilla is crisp on both sides.
  • Serve with a cup of stew broth for dipping.

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About the Author

Wendell T. Harness

I’ve been building online properties since the late 1980’s and transitioned to web design in 1999. I formed Harness Media in 2005 to help businesses grow through online marketing. I also talk to cats in a silly voice.

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