American Lamb Birria Tacos


June 30, 2022

Recipe provided by Two Purple Figs • Two Purple Figs, courtesy of the American Lamb Board (American Lamb Birria Tacos | American Lamb).


Birria Meat

4 lbs American lamb shanks

Birria Marinade

4 Guajillo chilis soaked in 1 cup hot boiling water

1 Can chipotle in adobo

1/2 cup Crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup White vinegar

6 cloves Garlic

1 1/2 tsp Oregano (Mexican preferred)

1 tsp Paprika

1 1/2 tsp Chili powder

1/2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 tsp Chili flakes (optional)

Birria Stew

2 Onions, diced

1 tbsp Oil

3 Bay leaves

1 Whole cinnamon stick

5 Whole cloves

2 cups Stock chicken, beef or veggie

Birria Tacos

24 Mini corn or flour tortillas, plain or flavored

2 cups Monterey cheese or preference

1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

1 White onion, finely diced

2 Jalapenos, sliced (optional)


1Start by soaking your Guajillo chiles in the hot water in a bowl and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap so it softens up. Once the peppers are softened, they're ready to use. Usually this takes around 15 minutes

2In a blender add all the marinade ingredients. Add to them the soaked and ready Guajillo chilis. Blend until smooth and silky.

3Coat the meat with the blender sauce and marinade. You can marinate the meat for as little as 10 minutes or up to 12 hours.

4To make the birria stew: sauté the onions with the oil. You can use an instant pot or large stovetop pan.

5Once the onions are translucent, add in the meat and sauce/marinade mixture all at once. Add to that the whole spices. Then add in the stock and cook the stew.

6For instant pot --select pressure high and cook for 40 minutes. For stove top -- cover the pot and cook for 1 hour and a half. USDA recommends lamb reach an internal temp of 145F with a 3 minute rest

7If you want to bake the birria -- place all ingredients with onions in an oven safe dish and cover the dish with foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour and half. The stew is ready when the meat comes out tender.

8Preserve the sauce and set aside.

9Take the meat and use a fork to shred it into fine shreds on a wooden board. Add the shredded meat to a bowl along with 3 ladles of the reserved sauce to flavor up the meat.

10Make the tacos: Dip each tortilla into the reserved sauce to flavor it up. Make sure to quickly dip and remove the tortilla-- this will prevent it from being soggy.

11In a heavy duty pan, place the coated tortilla in to the pan and add cheese over half of the tortilla. Pile up the meat over the cheese. Fold over the tortilla to cover the meat and press it down. Flip the tacos when ready and golden and allow it to sear on both sides a total of 5 minutes.

12Sprinkle the tacos with cilantros and jalapeños.

13For the dipping sauce : take 2 cups of the reserved birria stew sauce and add to it the onions and remaining cilantro.