The Chilangos served at Letty's De Leticia's Cocina in Las Vegas, NV, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Season 37.
Recipe courtesy of Letty's de Leticia's Cocina

Beef Birria

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 14 hr 55 min (includes marinating and resting times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 5 quarts



  1. Add all the chiles and the marjoram, oregano, cumin, peppercorns, thyme, cloves and cinnamon to the oil in a pot and cook over medium-high heat until all the ingredients are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add the oil from the chiles to cover the garlic, tomatoes and onion, and simmer until very translucent and tender. Blend the chiles and spices, tomatoes, garlic, onions and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth to make an adobe. Add water as necessary. Rub the adobe on the meat. Put in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Put the meat in a large pot. Add the beer or water. Add the bay leaves, then cover tightly with foil and cook on medium heat for up to 4 hours.
  4. Once the birria is cooked, let rest and skim off the grease. Break down the meat; do not shred. Use grease to coat tortillas and sear on a flat top or pan. Add cheese and meat, top with chopped onions and cilantro, fold in half and turn.

Cook’s Note

To toast Mexican oregano, add it to a dry pan and cook over medium-high heat just until lightly toasted.