Smoked Beef Birria

Recipe Courtesy of Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins

This Smoked Beef Birria uses the stewing technique to make the adobo for the recipe – adding short ribs that have been smoked on the EGG.

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  • 8 lbs (3.6 kg) beef short ribs


Set the EGG for indirect cooking at 350F/177C.

Clean the short ribs and marinate in ½ of adobo mix for 2 to 3 hours. Add the short ribs to the grid and smoke for 4 hours. Move the beef ribs to a Dutch oven and cover with the remaining adobo; move the Dutch oven to the EGG and cook for an additional 4 hours.

Enjoy with minced onion, cilantro and limes accompanied with tortillas.

Adobo Ingredients

  • 8 guajillo chiles
  • 5 ancho chiles
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • ½ oz (14 g) ginger
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp (3 ml) ground cloves
  • ½ tsp (3 ml) oregano
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • ½ tsp (3 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp (15 ml) salt
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) vinegar

Adobo Instructions

In a Dutch oven, cook chiles, garlic, ginger and onions in a pot with water, until chiles are tender. Drain the water and process together with the rest of the adobo ingredients.

9 thoughts on “Smoked Beef Birria”

  1. My only question is do we discard the Adobo the meat was marinating In or do we reincorporate back into the rest of the Adobo when we add the meat into the Dutch oven?

  2. Posted a few days ago, not sure what happened. Made this last weekend. First of all, chilis need to be deveined and have seeds removed before softening. For the adobo, instead of using water for processing, use the water leftover from softening the chilis. Smoking is straightforward. Remove the meat from the bones before putting in the Dutch oven. You need to add liquid for the Dutch oven cook. We used a cup of chicken stock, then ending up adding another cup at about 2.5 hour mark. Meat had great flavor and was so tender you could pull it apart with your fingers. Use good beef. We went to a meat market and got beautiful short ribs instead of the pitiful offerings at our local grocery.

  3. Made this recipe this weekend. We agree with everyone else that it’s short on detail. At least if you’re in Texas you’ve probably had some experience with Mexican food and adobos. The chilis need to be deveined and have the seeds removed. Instead of using plain water when we processed the adobo, we used 2 cups of the water leftover from softening the chilis etc. to add additional flavor. Smoking the ribs was straightforward. When we added to Dutch oven with the adobo it was apparent more liquid was needed, Added 1 cup of chicken stock, and ended up adding another cup about 2.5 hours in. This keeps the meat from burning on the bottom of the Dutch oven. When we were done, you could pull the meat apart with your fingers and the flavor was fantastic. We left some of the meat on the bones when we put in the Dutch oven. Don’ t think we’ll do that next time, already has enough flavor. The one other thing is to find good short ribs. The short ribs at our one grocery are pitiful. Fortunately, we’re near a good meat market 4 or 5 days a week. We got 10 lb of beautiful short ribs there for $40. Find a good meat market or ask your butcher to order some. Good meat makes a world of difference.

  4. We are making this recipe as we speak. I agree with Lloyd and Chris. There are not enough details included in the recipe. we also bought dried chilis and cooked them down. but that was just a guess since the recipe didn’t say. We also bought short ribs on the bone because that’s all we could find where we live. I’m thinking Claudette probably meant boneless or there would be a step in the recipe directing us to remove meat from bones after smoking.Since Chris’s outcome was fatty and chewy, we are going to cook for the full 8 hours as indicated in the recipe and hope that it will be tender in the end. fingers crossed!

  5. This recipe looks awesome on paper, but it’s light on detail. I fixed this this past weekend and had to guess at details.

    I smoked the ribs whole, on the bone, for the first 4 hours with the marinade still on the meat. After 4 hours, I removed the ribs from the EGG and removed ALL of the meat from the bones. I chopped it and tossed it into the Dutch oven with the rest of the adobo for the next 2 hours. I added the minced onions and cilantro and let it cook for another 30 minutes.

    The result was good, but fatty and chewy, and not tasty enough to justify the $75 of 8 pounds of short ribs.

    It left me thinking that I could have made better use of some expensive meat.

    1. I went to a local mexican grocery and bought dried chilies. Per the recipe, I boiled them with the other ingredients and discarded the water.

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