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Birria, a rich and flavorful Mexican stew traditionally made with goat meat, has taken the internet by storm in recent years. Its popularity extends far beyond its Jalisco roots, with variations popping up everywhere, most notably the melt-in-your-mouth birria tacos.

The beauty of birria lies in its versatility. It can be enjoyed as a comforting stew, shredded for tacos, or even used for quesadillas and nachos. But what if you don’t have hours to spend hovering over a stove? Enter the trusty crock pot! This slow cooker method allows you to achieve fall-apart-tender birria with minimal effort.

Crockpot Birria Recipe  The Novice Chef
Crockpot Birria Recipe The Novice Chef

This recipe will guide you through creating delicious crock pot birria, perfect for busy weeknights or relaxed weekend feasts.


For the Birria:

2-3 lbs beef chuck roast (or bone-in short ribs for extra flavor)

  • 4 guajillo chilies, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 ancho chilies, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (adjust for desired spice level)
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 2 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • For Serving (Optional):

    Corn tortillas

  • Queso fresco
  • Chopped white onion
  • Cilantro
  • Consommé (strained cooking liquid)
  • Lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Sear the Beef (Optional): While not essential for crock pot cooking, searing the beef adds depth of flavor. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes per side, then transfer it to the crock pot.

    2. Prepare the Adobo Sauce: In a blender, combine the guajillo and ancho chilies, diced tomatoes, chipotle pepper, cumin, ginger, bay leaf, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

    3. Slow Cook: Pour the adobo sauce over the seared beef (or directly into the crock pot if not searing). Add the beef broth. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the meat is very tender and easily shreds with a fork.

    4. Shred the Birria: Once cooked, carefully remove the beef from the crock pot and shred it with two forks. Discard the bay leaf.

    5. Strain the Consommé (Optional): If desired, strain the remaining cooking liquid in the crock pot through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any large chili bits. This flavorful broth, known as consommé, can be served alongside the birria for dipping or used to make a quick birria ramen.

    6. Serve: Warm corn tortillas and fill them with shredded birria. Top with queso fresco, chopped onion, cilantro, and a drizzle of consommé. Serve with lime wedges for an extra burst of freshness.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

    This is an approximate nutritional breakdown based on a 4-ounce serving of birria.

    Calories: 450-500

  • Fat: 30-35g
  • Saturated Fat: 12-15g
  • Carbohydrates: 5-10g
  • Protein: 30-35g
  • Sodium: 500-700mg (depending on added salt)

  • Conclusion

    Birria in the crock pot is a fantastic way to enjoy this delicious Mexican dish with minimal effort. The slow cooker allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth birria that’s perfect for tacos, stews, or any other creative use you can dream up. So ditch the pressure cooker and fire up your crock pot – a taste of Mexico awaits!


    1. What can I substitute for the beef?

    You can substitute the beef chuck roast with bone-in short ribs for extra flavor, goat meat for a more traditional birria experience, or even lamb for a richer taste.

    2. How spicy is this recipe?