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Taqiza’s Beef Cheek Birria Taco Recipe

Host your own fiesta at home with this delicious taco recipe from Mexican dining destination, Taqiza.

Taqiza's Beef Cheek Birria Taco (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)
Taqiza's Beef Cheek Birria Taco (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)

Birria is the ultimate comfort food to share with loved ones, it’s also a favourite for winter as it helps you warm up. In Mexico, Birria is usually accompanied with a tequila-based cocktail, like a margarita or, if you're feeling adventurous, even a straight shot of aged tequila! Our friends at popular dining destination Taqiza have shared their delicious Beef Cheek Birria Taco recipe so you can enjoy authentic Mexican eats at home.

Beef Cheek Birria Taco Recipe: Equipment

  • 1 large 10lt pot for stewing
  • 1 large pan for frying
Taqiza (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)
Taqiza (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)

Beef Cheek Birria Taco Recipe: Ingredients

  • 150ml cooking oil
  • 14 corn tortillas
  • 750g premium beef cheeks
  • 4 dried guajillo chillis
  • 2 ancho chillis
  • 1/2 can of chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 100ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 white onions
  • 5g oregano
  • 1g thyme
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2 limes
  • 600ml of Mexican beer
  • 4 black peppercorns whole
  • 10g Salt
Taqiza's Beef Cheek Birria Taco (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)
Taqiza's Beef Cheek Birria Taco (Photo credit: Kitti Gould)

Beef Cheek Birria Taco Recipe: Method

  1. Mexican dry chillies need to soften to be used, so grab your guajillo and ancho chillies, deseed them, cut the tips off and drizzle 20ml of cooking oil in a pan. Once the pan is smoking lightly, add the chillies and toast them for about 1 minute from each side, at a medium high temperature. Make sure they do not burn and lower the heat if needed.
  2. Once the chillies have changed their colour add carefully 600ml of water to the pan, cover with a lid and let the chillies soak in the water for 15 minutes until they soften completely in medium low heat.
  3. After 15 minutes turn the heat off and let the chillies cool down in the water. Remove the chillies from the water but reserve the water where the chillies were cooked in a separate container.
  4. In a blender, add the guajillo, ancho, half chipotle can, garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, 1 onion cut in halves and the black peppercorns whole. Add 350ml from the water we reserve of the chillies and blend all together until smooth. Once smooth add the Mexican beer and blend again, this can be done in batches if needed.
  5. Put the beef cheeks in a bowl and cover them with the adobo we just made in the blender. Make sure the beef is completely covered and every part saturated in the adobo, break apart with your hands if needed so the marinade can really get into the beef.
  6. In the large pot, add the beef cheeks with all the adobo we made, add an extra 500ml of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, add the oregano, thyme, whole cinnamon stick, bay leaves and season with salt.
  7. Make sure the beef cheeks are completely covered with liquid, if they are not completely covered you can add more water from the cooked chillies or plain water to the mix, make sure not to saturate with water as the flavours need to remain strong.
  8. Cover with a lid and let simmer in low heat for 90 minutes. Make sure to check the birria always has some liquid in.
  9. Once the beef cheeks are ready, they will be very soft and almost breaking apart while soaking in the adobo. You can turn the heat off at this point.
  10. Heat up a pan and drizzle some oil. Grab one tortilla and submerge it just for a few seconds in the adobo liquid, once it is covered in the adobo, grab about 50g of meat and add it to the taco and fry in medium heat over the pan. Repeat this process for each taco.
  11. Chop the onion you have left, chop the coriander and cut lime in wedges.
  12. Serve your tacos on a plate, garnish with a lime wedge and fresh coriander and white diced onion.

Beef Cheek Birria Taco Recipe: Chef's Tip

If you want to take your birria tacos the extra mile, you can add some cheese over the beef filling and let the cheese melt together while getting crispy in the pan for a whole fiesta experience.

Loving this delicious Beef Cheek Birria Taco recipe from Taqiza and looking for more cooking inspo? Head straight to our Recipes hub for all your Masterchef needs.