• cooking-duration Prep 30 minutes, 3.5 - 4 hours
  • servings 2 SERVINGS
  • cooking-style oven
  • cooking-mode beginner

Braised tri-tip becomes juicy, tender and infused with rich flavor from dried chilis, ground spices, and umami-packed tomatoes in this taco recipe. Cool things off with fluffy avocado crema and add zing with fresh jalapeño relish on top.


Beef Birria

  • 3-3 ½ pound Snake River Farms tri-tip, boneless Buy Now

  • 2 dried pasilla chilies

  • 3 dried chile de arbol

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 3 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 2 tablespoons blended oil

  • 1 large white onion, peeled, cut into corners

  • 5 - 6 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground

  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground

  • 2 ½ teaspoons new Mexican chili powder

  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

  • 8 cups beef stock

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 can (14 oz) fire roasted tomatoes

Avocado Crema

  • 1 ½ cup crema, sour cream or creme fraiche

  • 2 avocados, pit removed and rough chopped

  • 1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice

  • Kosher salt

Jalapeno Relish

  • 1 small white onion, finely diced

  • 5 jalapenos, finely diced (seeds removed optional)

  • 4 small red radish, finely diced

  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely minced

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


Remove stems of the chilies and cut them open, discard all seeds. Transfer to a large skillet and toast over high heat for 2-3 minutes with lots of stirring to ensure they do not burn.
3 minutes
Cover the chilis with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil remove from heat and allow to stay submerged for 10-15 minutes.
15 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
8 minutes
Season the tri-tip with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil and brown meat on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer meat to a small baking tray or plate.
10 minutes
Return the dutch oven to medium heat and add the onion, cook for 5 minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add garlic, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves and cook 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
8 minutes
Deglaze the dutch oven with beef stock and lime juice, be sure to scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.
10 minutes
Add the drained chilies and the canned tomatoes. Transfer to a blender. Blend on high until silky and smooth. Season heavily with salt.
3 minutes
Add beef and chili sauce back to the dutch oven. Cover and cook on the middle rack until tender and can be easily shredded with a fork around 3 ½ hours.
3.5 hours
Remove from the oven and shred in the juice and sauce.
3 minutes
Serve meat along with remaining cooking liquid, avocado crema, jalapeno relish and warm tortillas.
Cooks Note: Use either fresh corn or flour tortillas, whichever you prefer. We recommend corn for a more authentic taste and texture.
While beef is cooking, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree on high until smooth, add 1-2 tablespoons of water if needed in order to achieve motion in the blender. Store covered tightly refrigerated until ready to serve.
3 minutes
While beef is cooking combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir together. Allow flavors to marry while refrigerated.
5 minutes