Birria tacos with beef short ribs and charred pineapple salsa

Our inspired take on birria tacos delivers richness and subtle sweet acidity for a fun Mexican recipe.
Birria tacos recipe with shredded beef short ribs in yellow baking dish in birria sauce, next to pink plate of charred pineapple salsa and corn tortillas on a birgh blue tablescape.
Birria tacos
John Paul Urizar
3H 45M

Birria tacos are having a moment right now. Our recipe calls for short ribs to add richness and pineapple, which plays the great equaliser, cutting through with its juicy acidity. The result: a well-balanced birria tacos recipe you’ll want to make on repeat.


Charred pineapple salsa



Place chillies in a small bowl and cover with 300ml boiling water; soak until softened (15 minutes).


For birria sauce, heat a lightly greased barbecue or char-grill pan to high. Grill tomato, onion and garlic, turning frequently, until slightly charred (12 minutes). Transfer to a bowl until cool enough to handle (10 minutes). Peel tomato and transfer to a blender with onion, garlic, chillies with soaking water, vinegar, sugar, and spices; blend until smooth and set aside.


Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan with a lid over high heat. Season beef. and sear, in batches, turning frequently until browned all over (12-15 minutes). Pour in birria sauce, stock and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to very low and cover with a lid; cook until meat is very tender (2-2½ hours).


Meanwhile, for charred pineapple salsa, cut pineapple in half lengthways, then quarters and remove core. Cook pineapple on barbecue or char-grill pan, turning frequently, until charred all over (4 minutes). Transfer to a board and cut into rough 1cm pieces. Transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss to combine; refrigerate until ready to serve.


Remove meat from pan and continue to simmer birria sauce uncovered until sauce has reduced and thickened (15 minutes). Meanwhile, return beef to hot char-grill pan and grill until lightly charred (1-2 minutes). Transfer beef to a serving dish, pour over birria sauce and use two forks to shred.


Serve beef with birria sauce, pineapple salsa and charred tortillas with extra lime cheeks on the side.

Dried ancho, guajillo and arbol chillies are available from specialty food shops and Mexican grocers. If unavailable, substitute long dried chillies.

This recipe also calls for soaking and cooling (see method).


Looking for more Mexican recipe inspiration? Check out our best taco recipes.

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