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Birria by Petia Mitchell

Birria is easily one of the greatest, most widely appreciated foods that Hispanic culture has contributed to America. This traditional Mexican stew originated in Jalisco, Mexico, where it was made with goat meat. Today, in the U.S., Birria is made with other meats, not always goat meat. Our friend, Petia Mitchell, uses Beef Cheek meat in her recipe here. Birria has undergone lots of popular adaptations. The Quesabirria, a cross between a taco and a quesadilla, has become a social media hit here in the U.S. However you make it, birria is a savory, satisfying, time-honored treasure that fosters inventiveness and experimentation. We’re proud to spotlight it for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat


  • Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat (1 package, about 2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves

Chile Sauce

  • 5 dried California chiles
  • 6 dried Morita chiles (or chipotle peppers in sauce)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 cups water, reserve 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ⅓ teaspoon Mexican cinnamon
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground clove
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder


  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low overnight. Remove beef from broth. Strain broth and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, make the Chile Sauce.
  3. Remove the stems and seeds from dried chiles. Add the chiles, garlic and oil to a small saucepan and heat on medium/low. Once chiles begin to soften in the oil, add 1 cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. To the blender, add the chiles, garlic, 1 cup fresh water and 1 cup of cooking liquid from meat. Add remaining ingredients listed for sauce. Blend on high for 30+ seconds. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer, removing large pieces.
  5. Add strained chili sauce and one tablespoon of oil to the saucepan, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add beef broth from a slow cooker, plus 1 more cup of beef broth. Cook for 15 minutes. Add beef cheekmeat to the simmering saucepan and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy with rice or in tortillas. Top with onions, cilantro, and lime juice.