Even before the advent of Taco Tuesday, I was a huge fan of making (or just plain consuming) tacos but once I found beef birria tacos and chicken birria, I was wholeheartedly in love. The tacos themselves are absolutely heavenly, but that birria broth is to die for.
With rich, beefy flavor combined with hot peppers and all sorts of spicy goodness, birria broth is one incredible liquid. I dip my tacos in it, for sure, but it’s the most sippable sauce I’ve come across, too.
Whether you make it in a large pot on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or using an Instant Pot, this warm, comforting sauce will make your night whether it’s with tacos or the many other dishes you can spoon it over or mix it in to.
What is Birria Broth?
Birria broth is essentially a beef consome created by slowly cooking beef with spicy peppers, herbs, and spices. The result is a deliciously rich and flavorful broth.
Birria sauce is most known as a dipping sauce for birria tacos, but its deep layers of flavor make it perfect for plenty of other uses as well for any meal from breakfast to dinner.
What is Consomme?
Consomme… broth… stock… are they all the same?
While stock and broth are fairly interchangeable, neither is the same as consomme. Broth and stock are both the result of simmering veggies, meats, and spices or herbs — a consomme is a bit more complicated.
Consomme can be a soup all on its own at fine-dining establishments. The dish requires careful preparation including creating a “raft” of egg whites, and sometimes other ingredients, that play a part in eventually removing what is in the concoction until it becomes completely clear.
To further complicate the definition, a Spanish consome is not clear at all and has an entirely different composition. Completely opposite, a Spanish consome is a thick broth with either chicken or beef broth, often with tomato incorporated.
So to be clear — when it comes to consomme, it can be entirely clear. Or entirely not clear. It just depends on the origins.
Earthy and spicy seasonings come together with beefy flavors to create this incredible sauce.
- Chuck roast – You can use any cut of meat but this one is fairly affordable and has rich beefy flavor. Slice the roast into pieces to ensure that all of the fat and flavor renders into the sauce.
- Vegetable oil – Any neutral oil will work but vegetable oil is handy and affordable.
- Coarse Kosher salt – You can up your salt game with any variety you prefer but Kosher salt works well.
- Ground black pepper – Grind it freshly or use your table shaker.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – These chile peppers with the adobo sauce add a depth of flavor and spice.
- Adobo sauce – Adobo sauce adds an extra element of smokiness.
- Crushed tomatoes – Tomatoes bring brightness to the sauce.
- Garlic – Mince the garlic cloves finely or use a garlic press.
- Yellow onion – Chop the onion into small pieces to avoid large chunks.
- Ancho chile powder – This brings more flavor to the table than standard chili powder.
- Dried oregano – You can also use fresh, but it’s more likely that this is handy.
- Ground cumin – Cumin adds earthiness to the dish.
- Paprika – This adds bright color and flavor but if you want more smokiness used the smoked variety.
- Ground cloves – Cloves round out the warm flavors.
- Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon also adds warm flavors. You can also throw a cinnamon stick in.
- Apple cider vinegar – This acidic ingredient brings brightness to the broth.
How to Use Birria Broth
The best way to use birria broth is with quesabirria tacos, but there are lots of different ways to use this tasty birria sauce.
- Soup – Use the broth for the base of a delicious beef-based soup or stew. It’s perfect for birria ramen or you can make a birria stew, I even stir a few spoons into my pork pozole.
- Sipping broth – Sip this like you might any bone broth for a healthy revival during the day.
- Bloody Mary upgrade – Spoon a bit of this (at room temperature) into your Bloody Mary for hearty flavor.
- Dipping sauce – Dip crusty bread into this delicious broth instead of using butter or olive oil. You can also dip any style taco or quesadilla into it.
- Drizzler- Elevate your nachos or tostadas by drizzling this bountiful sauce over as a finisher.
The best part of this recipe is that you can creatively customize it in so many ways.
- Bay leaves – Add a bay leaf or two, but just remember to discard after cooking.
- Oils – Any neutral oil will work well.
- Powders – Though fresh is best, use powdered versions instead of fresh if it’s what’s handy.
- Cilantro – Try parsley, Mexican oregano, or Thai basil instead of cilantro if you prefer.
- Paprika – Substitute smoked paprika for more smoky flavor
- Onions – Green or red onions work just as well in place of the white onion for garnish.
- Meat – Use goat meat, lamb meat, or any other that you prefer.
- Peppers – Use any peppers you like – ancho chiles and guajillo chiles are good options.
- Citrus – A squeeze of fresh lime juice over top brightens the whole broth.
What To Do With The Beef After Making the Broth
You’ve made the broth but now you have all of the beef — what do you do with a pile of shredded meat? There are more than a few ideas for how to use this deliciously seasoned beef.
- Tacos – The easiest answer is to make birria tacos. With just a few corn tortillas or flour tortillas and some cheese, you have an incredibly easy meal ready to go.
- Quesadillas – Toss that beef into some tortillas with some cheese and dinner is on the table.
- Salad – Leave it warm, or cool it down, and toss this beef over some greens with your favorite dressing for a low-carb meal.
- Sandwiches – Put the beef on a crusty bread with melted cheese and dip into the broth for a spiced up French dip or saute it with peppers, onions, and mushrooms and pile it into a sub roll with cheese for a flavorful cheesesteak.
- Bowls – Make a birria bowl by piling the beef over rice (or cauliflower rice) and drizzling the birria consome over top. Or dress it up with other goodies like oaxaca cheese, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, avocado, or queso.
- Breakfast – Switch out the Canadian bacon for this beef for a new take on an eggs Benedict or try mixing it with a creamy sauce for a riff on sausage gravy or creamed chipped beef.
Birria broth is easy to store in the fridge or freezer after it’s cooled.
Make ahead: Birria broth is one of those dishes that only gets better as it sits. Feel free to make it up to 24 hours before serving.
Refrigerator: Store the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Freezing: Place the broth in a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag for up to 6 months. You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray, then move it to bags.
Other Savory Sauces
Birria Consome (Birria Sauce)
- 3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 3-4 pieces
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- In a large food processor or a large bowl with an immersion blender, combine the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomatoes, garlic, onion, chile powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, cloves, cinnamon and vinegar. Pulse until you form a paste. Add 2 cups of water and pulse several times. Set aside.
- Rub the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil over sauté in the instant pot.
- Add the beef, tossing to brown all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Add the reserved sauce. Place the lid on, lock in place and set to manual high pressure for 40 minutes. Use quick release method.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a bowl and use 2 forks to shred. Set beef aside and use for another purpose.
- Pour the sauce through a mesh sieve or colander to remove larger pieces. Allow the fats to settle on top and then skim off.
- Serve hot as a dipping sauce, in recipes calling for Spanish consome or thicken with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch slurry.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.