What Kind of Meat is Birria?

What Kind of Meat is Birria?

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you’ve probably heard of birria somewhere around. This flavorful meat has become increasingly popular in recent years, popping up in restaurants and food trucks across the United States.


If you haven’t tasted birria yet, you’re missing out on one of the most delicious Mexican dishes out there. Still thinking, what kind of meat is birria exactly? Worry no more! [1]


It’s because this article has the answers to all your birria questions. Here, we’ll explore the origins of birria meat, what it’s made of, and what makes it distinct from other popular Mexican meats. So if you’re curious about this delicious delicacy, keep on reading!

What is Birria?

So, let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room, “What kind of meat is birria?” Basically, birria is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Jalisco.[2] It is a slow-cooked stew that typically consists of meat (usually beef, goat, or lamb), spices, and chili peppers. The dish is often served and decorated with a variety of garnishes, including diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges.


Birria is usually prepared by marinating the meat in a mixture of spices and chilies for several hours before cooking it in a broth until it is tender and falls apart easily. The result is a rich, flavorful stew often used as a filling for tacos and quesadillas or served as a soup.


Recently, birria has gained significant popularity and is now commonly found on menus at restaurants. Some chefs have even put their own spin on the dish by using different types of meat or adding unique ingredients to the marinade.


If you’re a fan of slow-cooked meats and bold flavors, then birria is definitely worth a try.

What Kind of Meat Is Birria Made Out of?

Birria can be made with a variety of meats, but the most commonly used are beef, goat, and lamb. The type of meat selected can greatly affect the final flavor and texture of the cooked dish.


  1. Beef:  Beef is a popular choice for birria, as it has a rich, hearty flavor and can hold up well to the long cooking process. Some chefs prefer to use tougher cuts of beef, such as chuck or brisket, as they become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked in the broth.


  1. Goat: Goat meat is also commonly used for birria, especially in the state of Jalisco, where the dish originated. Goat meat has a mild, slightly gamey flavor that pairs well with the bold spices and chilies used in the dish. The meat is often marinated overnight to help tenderize it before being slow-cooked in the broth.


  1. Lamb: This is another well-suited option for birria, but it is less commonly used than beef or goat. Lamb has a unique flavor that can add depth to the dish, but it can also be quite fatty, which may not be to everyone’s taste.


  1. Cow Head Meat: Cow head meat, such as the cheeks, tongue, and lips, is also used in some regions to make a rich and flavorful birria broth. Like other meats, these cuts are also slow-cooked until tender and fall apart easily, making them a popular choice for tacos and other dishes. Some traditional recipes for birria even call for using the entire head of the cow, including the brain and eyes.


Regardless of what kind of meat is birria made from, it is a delicious and flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


The quality of the meat will have more impact on the outcome of the dish rather than the type of meat. Poor-quality meat will even ruin a delish recipe like this. So no matter whether you choose to make it from lamb meat or cow’s, Best Meat Delivery is here with high-quality meat suppliers onboard. Order top-quality meat from here at the best prices!

Birria vs. Barbacoa

Whenever answering what kind of meat is birria, one question almost always comes up, even among native Mexicans. And that question is whether Birria and Barbacoa are the same dishes.


Simply put, barbacoa is a broad term, and birria falls under the category of barbacoa. You can think of barbacoa as more closely related to barbecue (as the name already suggests), so the main difference lies with the method of cooking these two popular Mexican dishes.


Barbacoa is traditionally made by slow-cooking a whole cow’s head in a pit or underground oven until the meat becomes tender and flavorful. The meat is then shredded and used in a variety of dishes, such as tacos and burritos.


Birria, on the other hand, is typically made by slow-cooking meat in a flavorful broth made from dried chilies, spices, and sometimes tomatoes. The meat can be from various sources, including beef, goat, or lamb, and is typically shredded and used in tacos, quesadillas, or served with rice and beans.


While both birria and barbacoa are slow-cooked meat dishes that are used similarly, the main difference lies in the cooking method and the seasonings used. Barbacoa is cooked whole and has a unique flavor from the smoky pit or oven, while birria is cooked in a flavorful broth that gives it a rich, spicy taste.


So basically, both birria and barbacoa share some similarities but are distinct in their own right.

The Final Note

Simply put, birria is a delicious Mexican meat dish that is enjoyed all around the world. It is typically made by slow-cooking meat in a flavorful broth made from dried chilies and various spices. The meat can be obtained from beef, goat, or lamb and is mostly used in tacos and other popular foods.


While there are many different recipes for birria, one thing is for sure: it is a hearty and flavorsome dish perfect for any occasion. So, whether you are aiming to impress your guests with a traditional Mexican dish or simply want to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal, birria is definitely worth trying. We hope this article has completely answered your question,” What kind of meat is birria.”


So the next time you’re looking for a new and exciting dish to try, why not give birria a chance? You won’t be disappointed!





What is birria meat made of?

Birria meat is typically made from beef, goat, or lamb, slow-cooked in a flavorful broth made from dried chilies, spices, and sometimes tomatoes.


What cut of meat is best for birria?

The best cut of meat for birria depends on personal preference and the recipe being used. Some popular choices include beef chuck roast, beef short ribs, or goat meat.


Is birria a cow or pork?

Birria can be made from various types of meat, including beef, goat, or lamb. However, pork is not a traditional meat used in birria.


Is birria made with goat or beef?

Birria can be made with either goat or beef or sometimes a combination of both.


Is beef birria just barbacoa?

No, beef birria and barbacoa are two different dishes with distinct flavors and cooking methods. Beef birria is slow-cooked in a flavorful broth, while barbacoa is traditionally made by slow-cooking a whole cow’s head in a pit or underground oven until the meat becomes tender and flavorful.



[1]  Valerino-Perea, S., Lara-Castor, L., Glynis Armstrong, M. E., & Papadaki, A. (2019). Definition of the Traditional Mexican Diet and Its Role in Health: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 11(11).


[2] María, J., Catalina, G., Janiret, L., & Olovaldo, Y. (2023). Traditional Mexican Food: Phenolic Content and Public Health Relationship. Foods, 12(6), 1233

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