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Quesa birria tacos

Chef Dwight Smith’s quesa birria tacos will give everyone something to taco-bout at the dinner table because they are just so flavourful and delicious. Make sure you wrap these up in corn based tortillas to really taste the difference. 

Yield: 3-4 servings

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 3.5 hours


  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • 1.5 lbs boneless beef chuck
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 2 guajillo chilies
  • 2 ancho chilies
  • 2 field tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large Spanish onion, halved
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 white onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves whole garlic
  • 2 l beef stock
  • 2 cups Oaxaca cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced


  1. Season your beef generously on all sides with salt and pepper and sear it in a Dutch oven in vegetable oil.
  2. Once seared on all sides, remove from the pot and deglaze with beef stock.
  3. Add your tomato, onion, bay leaf, and toasted spices to the pot and bring it up to a simmer. Cook this for 15–20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Strain and blend this until smooth with half of your stock.
  5. Add the liquid, stock and beef back into the pot and cook in a preheated oven at 300F for 2–3 hours depending on the size of your pieces of beef.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 30 minutes and then shred your meat.
  7. Put a stainless-steel skillet or nonstick pan on medium-high heat.
  8. Dip your corn tortillas in the meat juices and sear them off in your pan. While they are cooking, top with grated Oaxaca cheese and shredded meat.
  9. Fold the corn tortillas over and press lightly. Once golden brown on both sides, remove from the pan and let cool for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.
  10. Use the stock made from the meat braising as a dip. To this add your chopped cilantro and onion.