If there’s one thing I love about TikTok, it’s the fact that it’s an absolute goldmine for everything you didn’t learn in school. Don’t know how to do your taxes? There’s a video for that. Want to learn how to buy a house with a singular bobby pin? I’m not joking, there’s a whole TikTok account dedicated to showing you how. But the niche I’ve received the greatest benefit from has always been the TikTok recipe side of the app — otherwise known as FoodTok. From hearty soup recipes to 101 ways to spice-up two-minute noodles, my soul and tastebuds have been nourished accordingly. However, my latest culinary venture might just be my boldest: birria tacos.
What are Birria Tacos?
Originating in Jalisco, Mexico, birria is a rich stew, usually made of either goat or lamb; often served in a consomé broth with coriander and onion. Though what you’re seeing all over TikTok is the birria taco version, which consists of braised meat inside a corn tortilla, pan-fried in the succulent juices from our meat. Oh, and did I mention there’s a lot of cheese involved?
How do I make these delicious birria taco morsels?
With the hashtag #birriatacos garnering over 542.7 million views on TikTok, you can imagine there are hundreds upon hundreds of TikTok recipe videos you can follow. However, most of them use American ingredients. That’s why, for your ease, we’ve chosen Australian TikTok star Anna Paul’s version — which she claims is “the best thing [she’s] ever eaten in [her] life” — to cure your birria taco cravings. And that’s a pretty solid review, if you ask us.
- 600g Beef Shank
- 300ml bone broth
- 500ml water
- 2 white onions
- 1 whole garlic
- 1 red chilli
- 2 carrots
- A bunch of bay leaves
- Sprig of thyme
- Chilli flakes
- 2 tomatoes
- Cumin powder
- Whole cloves
- Smoked paprika powder
- 8x mini tortillas
- Shredded cheese
- Bunch of coriander
- Brown beef in a large saucepan. We like the big one from this Scanpan three piece set.
- Add bone broth, water, one of the white onions, all the garlic, chilli, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Let simmer for an hour uncovered until everything becomes soft.
- Remove all the cooked veggies from the saucepan and put them into a blender (like this one on sale for $39). If you’re like me and haven’t gotten around to furnishing your kitchen yet, you can also try a stick mixer or your trusty NutriBullet. However you decide to do it, add both tomatoes, more bay leaves, cumin powder, cloves, smoked paprika powder and some chilli flakes (depending on your spice tolerance) and blitz it all up.
- Sieve the blended sauce back into the original pot, which will remove all the chunky bits.
- Leave to simmer covered for three hours. Anna recommends topping up the mixture up with water every 40 minutes to keep the beef moist.
- While that’s on the boil, you can finely dice the other white onion and the bunch of coriander, then set aside to use as toppings later.
- When three hours is up, you should see the slow-cooked meat is now falling apart. Remove it from the original saucepan and put it in a bowl to shred. This meat claw is perfect for all your shredded meat needs.
- Add shredded meat back into the sauce and keep on low heat to ensure it continues to soak up the flavour-packed sauce.
- While on heat, grab a tortilla and dunk it right into the juices and put it straight onto a warm frypan, adding some shredded meat mixture to the inside and topping with lashings of some more delicious birria taco sauce.
- Add as much (or as little, for my lactose-intolerant friends) shredded cheese. This is the part you can also add your previously chopped onion and coriander on your birria taco.
- Leave on low heat and wait for the tortilla to brown and the cheese to melt, then fold in half and enjoy your birria taco dipped in a bowl of your beef soup.
- If you’re feeling fancy or making these for dinner guests, you can dish those birria taco babies up in these awesome taco holders.
Can I make birria tacos vegan?
You sure can. Almost all of TikTok’s recipes — especially if they’ve gone viral — have a plant-based alternative. For the birria tacos, you can simply swap out the beef shanks for shredded jackfruit and king oyster mushrooms, then sub out the bone broth and dairy cheese for vegetable stock and your favourite vegan cheese alternative.
Are they worth the hype?
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether all your Gordon-Ramsay-like culinary efforts will lead to any avail (I’m still traumatised from the overhype of the feta pasta TikTok recipe). But I am here to assure you that the internet’s favourite melt-in-your-mouth birria tacos are worth every hour spent fawning over that hot stove. Thanks, TikTok!