Dutch Oven Birria

Dutch Oven Birria boasts a culinary heritage steeped in the rich traditions of Jalisco, Mexico. Originally crafted with goat meat, this dish has adapted over time, embracing beef, lamb, or chicken to suit various tastes and availability. At its core, Birria is a celebratory dish, often marking significant events and gatherings with its bold, comforting flavors. This Dutch Oven Birria recipe simplifies the traditional process while maintaining the authentic flavors that make this dish a beloved staple. Perfect for a cozy dinner or a festive gathering, this recipe promises to engage your senses and leave a lasting impression.

Preparation Phase & Tools to Use

Embarking on the journey of making Dutch Oven Birria requires a few essential tools and some preparatory steps. The cornerstone of this dish is, undoubtedly, the Dutch oven itself—a versatile cooking vessel that ensures even cooking and deep flavor development. Additionally, you’ll need a sharp knife for meat preparation, a cutting board, a blender for the chiles, and measuring cups and spoons for precise ingredient addition. Start by rehydrating the dried Guajillo peppers, which form the backbone of Birria’s distinctive sauce. Once the peppers are soft, blend them into a smooth paste, setting the foundation for this rich and aromatic dish. Remember, the key to Birria’s profound taste lies in the slow cooking process, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.

Ingredients List

  • 6 large dried Guajillo peppers: Adds a mild heat and red color.
  • 1 cup water: Used to rehydrate the peppers.
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste): Enhances the flavors.
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (or to taste): Adds a mild spiciness.
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast: The meat base, tender when slow-cooked.
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil: For searing the meat.
  • 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes, diced: Gives a smoky flavor.
  • ⅓ cup diced chipotle chilies: Adds a smoky heat.
  • 2 medium bay leaves (remove before serving): Infuses the dish with subtle depth.
  • 1 medium cinnamon stick (remove before serving): Imparts a warm, aromatic flavor.
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano: Offers a robust herbaceous note.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin: Earthy spice that complements the meat.
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder: Adds mild to medium heat.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves: A sweet and aromatic spice.
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar: Brightens the dish with acidity.
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon: Enhances the meaty flavors.
  • 1 cup beef broth: Provides liquid for the stewing process.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Chiles: Start by cutting off the stems of the dried Guajillo peppers. Place them in a pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 20 minutes to rehydrate.
  2. Blend the Peppers: Transfer the rehydrated peppers and water to a blender and process until smooth. Strain if necessary to remove any large pieces.
  3. Prepare the Meat: Trim the beef chuck roast of any connective tissue and cut into large chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sear the Meat: Heat the Dutch oven to medium-high. Add oil and sear the beef on all sides until browned.
  5. Combine Ingredients: To the pot, add the blended pepper mixture, roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cloves, vinegar, beef bouillon, and beef broth. Stir to mix well.
  6. Slow Cook: Cover the pot and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Final Preparations: If desired, refrigerate the birria overnight to enhance the flavors. When ready to serve, reheat and remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

Side Dish Recommendations

When serving Dutch Oven Birria, choosing the right side dishes can elevate the meal and complement the rich, hearty flavors of the stew. Here are some perfect accompaniments that will round out your dining experience:

Cilantro Lime Rice

This bright and flavorful rice is a refreshing counterpart to the deep, savory notes of Birria. The zesty lime and fresh cilantro add a burst of freshness that balances the spice and richness of the stew.

Corn Tortillas

Handmade or store-bought, warm corn tortillas are essential for soaking up the delicious sauce. They are also perfect for making Birria tacos, a popular way to enjoy the dish.

Refried Beans

Creamy refried beans serve as a smooth, comforting side that pairs wonderfully with Birria. Their mild flavor provides a nice contrast to the stew’s complex spice profile.

Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Grilled corn on the cob coated with a mix of mayo, cotija cheese, and chili powder offers a smoky, tangy flavor that complements Birria beautifully.

Avocado Salad

A simple salad made with avocado, cucumber, tomato, and red onion dressed in lime juice and olive oil can add a cool, crisp texture and freshness to the meal.

Pickled Red Onions

Adding a quick pickled red onion provides a sharp, acidic element that cuts through the richness of the Birria, refreshing the palate between bites.

Chips and Salsa

A bowl of crispy tortilla chips alongside fresh salsa or even a chunky guacamole can act as a great starter or side for those enjoying Birria.

Roasted Vegetables

A mix of roasted carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini seasoned with cumin and coriander can mirror some of the aromatic spices used in Birria, creating a cohesive flavor experience.

Jicama Slaw

Jicama slaw, with its crunchy texture and light dressing, offers a contrast in both texture and flavor, making it a refreshing side that complements the heavy nature of the stew.

Each of these sides brings its own unique flavor and texture that can enhance the Birria dining experience, allowing the rich flavors of the stew to shine while providing a balanced and satisfying meal. Whether you opt for something traditional or a bit more adventurous, these side dishes are sure to make your Birria feast memorable.

Nutritional Information & Health Benefits

This Dutch Oven Birria is not only a feast for the taste buds but also offers various nutritional benefits. A single serving provides a good amount of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth, from the beef chuck roast. The use of spices like cumin and chili powder can aid in digestion and provide antioxidants, which are vital for health. The dish is relatively high in vitamins and minerals provided by the added vegetables and spices. However, it is also moderate in calories and fats, making it a balanced option for a hearty meal. When enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, Birria can be a nutritious addition to your culinary repertoire.

Common Mistakes To Avoid & How to Perfect the Recipe

When making Dutch Oven Birria, a few common pitfalls can affect the dish’s outcome, but knowing how to avoid them ensures a perfect Birria every time:

  • Overlooking the Pepper Prep: It’s crucial not to rush the rehydration of the Guajillo peppers. Properly softened peppers blend into a smoother, richer base for your Birria.
  • Not Searing the Meat: Searing the beef is essential as it locks in flavors and adds a depth that simmering alone cannot achieve.
  • Rushing the Cooking Process: Birria demands patience. Allow it to simmer slowly to let the flavors meld together and the meat to become fork-tender.
  • Skipping the Rest: Letting the Birria sit overnight in the refrigerator can dramatically enhance its flavors as the ingredients continue to marry and develop.

To perfect your Birria:

  1. Season Well: Adjust the salt and spices according to your taste before and after cooking to ensure a well-seasoned dish.
  2. Low and Slow: Always cook Birria on a low heat to prevent burning and encourage the breakdown of tough meat fibers.
  3. Use Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality beef and fresh spices for the best flavor and texture.

Tips, Notes, Storing and Reheating

  • Tips for Cooking: To deepen the flavor, consider toasting the dried peppers slightly before rehydrating them. Also, adding a small piece of dark chocolate can enrich the broth with minimal effort.
  • Notes: If you prefer a less spicy Birria, adjust the amount of chipotle chilies to suit your taste.
  • Storing: Birria can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen for three months. Ensure it is stored in airtight containers to maintain freshness and prevent freezer burn.
  • Reheating: Reheat Birria slowly on the stove over low heat or in a microwave, stirring occasionally to keep the meat tender and moist.


  • Can I make this recipe without a Dutch oven? Yes, you can use a heavy-bottomed pot or slow cooker, though cooking times may vary.
  • Is Birria spicy? This Birria recipe is flavorful with a mild heat, but you can adjust the spice level with more or less chipotle chilies.
  • Can I use another type of meat? Absolutely. While beef is commonly used, goat, lamb, or chicken are also excellent choices.
  • How can I serve Birria? Birria is versatile; enjoy it as a stew, or use the meat in tacos, quesadillas, or over rice.


This Dutch Oven Birria recipe encapsulates the essence of traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. It’s a dish that brings warmth and joy to any table, filled with rich flavors and comforting spices. Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or looking for a meal that spans multiple dinners, Birria promises to satisfy and impress. Don’t forget to savor each bite and take pride in mastering one of Mexico’s legendary dishes.

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Dutch Oven Birria

Dutch Oven Birria

  • Author: Alyssa
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Try our Dutch Oven Birria recipe! It’s easy to make and packed with delicious flavors from tender beef and spices. Perfect for sharing with family and friends!


  • 2 yellow peaches, pitted and sliced: Adds a fresh, sweet element.
  • ½ cup peach preserves (160g): Provides a rich, fruity base for the glaze.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil: Used in the glaze for its mild flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce: Enhances depth with umami notes.
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar: Introduces a tangy flavor to balance sweetness.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard: Offers a slight tang and complexity.
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic: Adds a punch of flavor.
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt: For seasoning the glaze.
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper: Adds a bit of spice.
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes: Provides an extra kick of heat.
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs: The main protein of the dish.
  • Additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt: For seasoning the chicken.
  • ½ teaspoon additional black pepper: For seasoning the chicken.
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder: Adds a smoky heat to the chicken.
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil: For cooking the chicken.
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced: Brings heat to the dish.


  1. Prepare the Peach Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine peach preserves, olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Season the Chicken: Pat the chicken dry. Mix salt, black pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the chicken thighs.
  3. Cook the Chicken: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken thighs and cook for 5 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Sauté the Peppers and Peaches: Increase heat to medium, add jalapeno slices to the skillet, and cook for 3 minutes. Add sliced peaches and continue to cook for 3 more minutes until peaches soften.
  5. Combine and Finish: Pour the peach glaze over the jalapenos and peaches in the skillet. Stir well to coat. Return the chicken to the skillet, spooning the glaze over the chicken. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly heated.


  • Marinating: For deeper flavor, marinate the seasoned chicken in a portion of the peach glaze for at least an hour before cooking.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve over rice or alongside a simple salad to complement the dish’s rich flavors.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Pan frying
  • Cuisine: American

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