Goat Meat Stew and Tacos
8 to 10 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado leaves, birria, cilantro, corn tortillas, goat, guajillo chiles, lamb, lime, onion, tacos
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Birria recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 8, Episode 11 “A Day in Sinaloa's Countryside”


For the Birria:

  • 4 to 5 pounds goat meat, bone-in, cut into about 3-inch pieces (you may substitute lamb)
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 3 quarts water, plus more to soak the meat
  • 4 to 5 large dried avocado leaves
  • 3 ounces (about 10) guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

For serving:

  • Warm corn tortillas
  • 2 cups finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 to 3 limes, quartered

To Prepare

  • Place the meat in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse well with cold water.
  • Place the rinsed meat in a large casserole, cover with at least 3 quarts water, add 4 teaspoons salt, and stir. Set over high heat and let it come to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low, remove whatever foam may have come to the surface, cover, and cook for 2 hours.
  • Set a comal or small saute pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, toast the avocado leaves, flipping as they cook, for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Place the chiles in a small saucepan, cover with water, and set over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the chiles are completely rehydrated and plumped up. Place the chiles in the jar of a blender, along with a cup of the cooking liquid, and puree until completely smooth.
  • Uncover the meat, add the guajillo chile puree, stir, and drop in the toasted avocado leaves. Cover again and continue cooking for another 2 hours, or until the meat is succulent, juicy, tender, and falling apart when a fork is inserted.
  • Serve the meat in bowls along with the broth. At the table, have warm corn tortillas, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, and quartered limes for people to assemble their birria tacos and to season the broth. You can also chase the tacos with the broth.

29 comments on “Birria

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    1. Hola Leia! You can absolutely go ahead and substitute the goat meat; I would use pork butt or shoulder bone in if possible and if you prefer beef, go for brisket, fat on. Good luck!

  1. Just wanted to tell Pati how much I love her show. Besides being one of the most beautiful chefs on TV, she is a beautiful spirit thats so full of life.
    Thank you for being yourself all these years.
    God bless …..

  2. Yum yum yummy yum yum yummy!!! Soooooo Goooooooood!! Thank y’all for the recipe!! I didn’t think I would like goat meat, but so succulent and yummy!!!! Wow, and a really easy recipe to boot!

  3. Thank you! Was craving soupy soggy tacos under confinement in Brooklyn and this was so perfect and simple to make! Had to use beef as the super had no lamb. Added a garlic clove to the soup and toasted some clove with the leaves.

    What’s nice is you can adapt one dish for everyone. For the baby, rinsed the meat and made tacos with cheese and tomato.

    1. Perfect Andy, in these difficult times we have to make do and be creative with whatever is available, great job 😉

  4. Yo siempre creí que cuando usaba chile guajillo, había que colar la mezcla al agregar a la birria (o pancita, o cualquier otro platillo) pero veo que usted no cuela la mezcla y lo agrega directamente.
    Tiene algún tip para lograr la consistencia de puré con el guajillo? Por ejemplo, cuánta agua poner en la licuadora, cuánto tiempo licuar?

    1. Hola Adrian! Lo mas importante cuando se usan chiles secos para preparar salsas es dejar que se rehidraten completamente, asi cuando los licuas se mezclan perfectamente y no hay necesidad de colar 😉 Saludos!

  5. Hola Pati,
    Have you ever used chicken? Chicken birria, I don’t know where to buy goat meat so I was thinking of using chicken instead

    1. If you can’t find avocado leaves at your local Latin market or online, you can use epazote or yerba buena (true mint) as a substitute, or you can just skip it.

    1. Give your local Latin market or online a try, Laura. Or if you can’t find it, you can use epazote or yerba buena (true mint), or just skip it.

  6. I’m definitely going to try this recipe for my husband’s birthday!!! What do you think about using the Crock pot Pati?

  7. This was great! We found goat stew meat from local farmer & didn’t exactly know what I was going to do with it. I like this version so much more than the Jalisco style with tomatillos 😊