Nothing like these Campfire Quesabirria Tacos to brighten up a rainy day here in Nashville! For those unfamiliar, quesabirria refers to braised meat with melted cheese, typically served as a taco. I don’t see how a taco could get any better than that!

I broke out my tripod and dutch oven to braise some short ribs. Then I shredded the meat, added some cheese and turned them into tacos. They were incredibly delicious! You don’t want to miss this. 

An overhead shot of the finalized Quesabirria Tacos.

This birria taco recipe is something like your favorite food trucks would sell, only better because it’s made at home in your own backyard. The slow-cooked meat paired with the crispy taco shells and Oaxaca cheese creates super delicious tacos, perfect for your next taco night. 

Why You’ll Love These Quesabirria Tacos

This birria tacos recipe is a game-changer for anyone who appreciates bold flavors and the thrill of open-fire cooking. What makes it truly unique is the marriage of traditional quesabirria and the rugged charm of campfire cooking. The blend of smoky, charred goodness from the open flames adds an extra layer of richness to the already delicious birria-infused filling.

Want more taco recipes? Try our Tacos Al Pastor, Pulled Pork Elote Tacos, Chorizo Smash Tacos and Crispy Steak and Shrimp Tacos!

Quesabirria Tacos Ingredients

MEAT:

  • Bone-In Short Ribs: Come from the chuck portion of the cow, which means they’re super fatty, making them perfect for our tacos. 
  • Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder are all we’ll season the short ribs with because our chiles will be bringing all of the flavor.

CHILES:

  • Ancho chiles, guajillo chiles and chipotle chiles are the super starts of this show because they’re our three amigos for anything quesabirria.
  • Garlic Cloves: is garlic ever a bad idea?
  • Water

SEASONING:

  • Mexican Oregano: Adds a pungent aroma to the dish. 
  • Cinnamon or Cinnamon Sticks: Adds a hint of warmth. 
  • Bay Leaves

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BRAISING:

  • Beef Broth: The braising liquid for our beef and helps create the rich sauce for our tacos.
  • White Onion
  • White Vinegar: Cuts through the fattiness of the beef, also helps break down the tough muscle fibers. 
  • Dark Mexican Beer: The acidity helps break down the beef and adds a depth of flavor. 

TACOS:

  • Tortillas: I used flour tortillas, but you can use corn tortillas if you like. 
  • Oaxaca Cheese: Similar to Monterey Jack cheese but with higher meltability. You can find this in the Mexican dairy section near the shredded and sliced cheeses. 
  • Fresh Cilantro and diced onions for garnish

HOW TO MAKE BEEF BIRRIA TACOS

I love cooking in the great outdoors, and sometimes that means dealing with the weather. It started raining while I cooked this recipe, so I made sure to keep my fire hot. While it might seem like a nuisance, I slightly enjoyed the break from the heat. Meanwhile, my wife goes around calling it liquid sunshine… so there’s that. Regardless, I was so excited to cook these Campfire Quesabirria Tacos. The weather didn’t seem to matter. 

I kicked off this Campfire Quesabirria Tacos recipe by making my chile paste. This paste consisted of three different types of chiles: ancho, guajillo, and chipotle chiles. I tossed all the dried chiles and some garlic into the preheated Dutch oven.

The chiles and garlic simmering in the dutch oven.

Let the chiles char for a bit, and then add water to the Dutch oven. Once the water reaches a roaring boil, push some of the wood to the side, cooling the fire a bit, and bring the boil down to a simmer. Let the chiles and garlic simmer together for around 8 minutes.

Then, transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender. Toss the seasoning into the blender as well and blend it all together until it reaches a thin, paste-like consistency. 

BRAISE THE SHORT RIB

The next step for these Campfire Quesabirria Tacos is braising the short rib.

In a large bowl, I seasoned each chuck of short rib in one of my Spiceology favorites: a Salt, Pepper and Garlic Rub. It’s crazy just how much these three ingredients change a meal. After covering each short rib with rub, I set them into the preheated Dutch oven and seared all sides of the meat. This will help us create somewhat of a seal on the meat while it’s braising, which helps to lock in those lovely juices and flavor.

Braising the beef in the dutch oven.

After each short rib has been seared on all sides, we can start the braising process. Toss in the remaining short rib ingredients, including our chile paste, and bring it to a simmer. Now, let it continue to simmer for about 4 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. 

When the beef becomes tender, transfer it to a large bowl. Then, grab two forks and shred the beef. After the beef is shredded to your liking, set it aside.

Grab another bowl and strainer. We’re going to strain the remaining birria broth and use it for our Campfire Quesabirria Tacos! Run the sauce through a strainer until all that’s remaining is consomme.

The beef almost done braising for Quesabirria Tacos.

ASSEMBLE THE TACOS

All that’s left to do is assemble our Campfire Quesabirria Tacos! Start by dipping your flour tortillas into the rich broth and placing them over the campfire on a griddle. Then, place a handful of the shredded beef on one half of the tortilla. Next, I added a handful of chopped onion and cilantro on top of the braised beef.

Following the onion and cilantro is my favorite, the cheese. I shredded some Oaxaca cheese and placed it across the empty half of the tortilla. From there, use a spatula to flip the cheese half of the tortilla on top of the beef half. Now it’s starting to look like a taco fiesta! 

Starting to assemble Quesabirria Tacos.

Flip the tacos as needed until the cheese melts and the tacos have browned to your liking. Then pull the crispy tortillas from the grill and get ready to eat!

I poured the remaining consomme into a sauce bowl for dipping and placed it on a serving platter along with some lime wedges. Time to dive in. Best enjoyed with friends and family. Cheers!

Charring the Quesabirria Tacos.

Tips on Quesabirria Tacos

  • If you have extra birria meat, use it to make birria ramen, birria quesadillas, or birria nachos. 
  • Make the birria a day ahead to save time. 

More Taco Recipes

Storing Quesabirria Tacos Leftovers & Reheating

I recommend only making the tacos as you need them, as the tortillas can become soggy in the fridge. 

Store leftover birria meat in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, place it in a large skillet over medium heat and let it reheat until warm. 

An overhead shot of the final dish.

What to Serve with Quesabirria Beef Tacos

When serving up quesabirria tacos, keep it fresh and straightforward with classic sides that complement the rich flavors. Pico de gallo adds a zesty kick with fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime, while creamy guacamole provides a perfect contrast to the smoky birria. Don’t forget the essentials – fluffy Mexican rice, well-cooked beans, and a crunchy cabbage slaw for that extra crunch. A drizzle of hot sauce or a squeeze of lime juice ties it all together, transforming your meal into a flavorful fiesta. 

Quesabirria Tacos FAQs

What is birria?

Birria is a classic Mexican dish consisting of meat, usually goat meat or beef, braised in a liquid infused with a mix of dried chilies and spices. The result is super tender beef loaded with deep, savory flavors. 

Can I make the birria recipe in a slow cooker?

Absolutely. Just make sure to sear the beef and then add the rest of your ingredients to the slow cooker. Set it on low for 6-8 hours until the beef is tender and shreddable. 

Can I use another type of beef besides short ribs?

Yes! Feel free to use beef chuck roast or beef shank instead.

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Quesabirria tacos ready to devour.

Quesabirria Tacos

Nothing like these Quesabirria Tacos to brighten up a rainy day here in Nashville! Braised beef and cheese turned taco. Delicious!
Author:Derek Wolf
4.29 from 32 votes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 People

Ingredients 

Meat:

  • 5-6 Bone-In Short Ribs cubed
  • 1.5 tbsp of Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Garlic Powder

Chiles:

  • 3-4 Ancho Chiles stemmed & seeded
  • 3-3 Guajillo Chiles stemmed & seeded
  • 2-3 Chipotle Chiles stemmed & seeded
  • 8-10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 cups of Water

Seasoning:

  • 1.5 tbsp of Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tbsp of Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp of Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp of Cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Braising:

  • 3.5 cups of Beef Broth
  • 1/2 of a White Onion sliced
  • 1 cup of White Vinegar
  • 12 oz of Dark Mexican Beer

Tacos:

  • 8-10 Tortillas
  • 1 cup of Oaxaca Cheese shredded
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish
  • Diced Onions for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat your fire to medium high temperature (around 375F). Add a dutch oven over the fire to preheat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add your chiles and garlic to your dutch oven and let char for 30-45 seconds per side.
  • Once charred, add your water to the skillet and let simmer over the fire for 7-8 minutes.
  • Once simmered, pull out the chiles and garlic and dispose of the excess water.
  • Add your chiles & garlic to a food processor along with all the ingredients for the seasoning. Add 2 tbsp of water to the blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour your paste into a bowl.
  • Add your short ribs to a bowl or place and liberally season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place your cleaned dutch oven over the fire and sear off each side of the beef until browned. Do this in batches if needed.
  • Finally, add all your short ribs to the dutch oven along with the chile paste, beef broth, white vinegar, sliced onions and dark beer.
  • Cover the dutch oven and let simmer over medium high heat until the beef is fork tender (about 3.5-4.5 hours). Make sure to skim the top of the sauce of fat as needed.
  • Once the beef is tender, pull it off, dispose of the bones and shred the beef.
  • Strain your braising sauce until it is a clean consomme. Add the consumme to a new bowl.
  • For the tacos, take off your dutch oven, heat your fire to high heat (about 400F) and add a large cast iron skillet to preheat with a little oil.
  • Dip both sides of your tortillas in the consomme and add them to a hot skillet.
  • Add to one side of the tortilla some shredded beef, diced onions and chopped cilantro. Add to the other side some shredded cheese.
  • Fold both sides into each other. Sear off each side for 30 seconds until crispy then pull off and rest.
  • Repeat this for each taco!
  • For serving, dip your taco into the consomme and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 3080mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3857IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

4.29 from 32 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So deliciouse, specially in the middle of yellowstone. I did it with short ribs as suggested but it made it very rich. Next time I’ll do it with goat or lamb. Thanks you for sharing Derek.