Trader Joe’s BEEF BIRRIA

“Slow cooked beef in a savory tomato and chile sauce

Here’s what Trader Joe’s has to say about BEEF BIRRIA…

“This Mexican dish originally hails from Jalisco, and, like ours, is traditionally cooked for several hours in kettles until the Beef is incredibly tender and infused with a savory tomato and chile sauce. You can serve it as a simple stew, topped with fresh cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime. Alternatively, if you want to evoke the taco truck vibe—and we’re thinking you will—make your own Birria tacos! Dip Corn Tortillas in the broth and fry them in a hot pan or on a plancha. Add the Birria, top with chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, then fold and fry on each side until crispy. But don’t stop there—that lusciously spiced broth serves as a delectable dip for your tacos, too. Believe us, you’ll want to spoon, dip, and sip every last drop.”

“M.I.A. again!”

What is “Birria”? Birria is a famous very tasty Mexican dish. I’ve wanted to review Trader Joe’s “BEEF BIRRIA” since I first heard about it, many months back however it was almost impossible to find in stock. Is this one of Trader Joe’s most popular products now due to social media & internet buzz about Birria and current popular and trendy truck that sell it. Birria taco trucks that specialize in Birria have been selling it in many cities like here in NYC. Does it sell out at Trader Joe’s as soon as they put it out, or has it just been a supply problem, or a combination of the two? Anyway I looked for it almost every time I would go to TJ’s for a few months and could never find it, however finally last week I got lucky, and literally saw one last package sitting alone. I looked behind me ready to fight off any interlopers who might grab but I reached out quickly to grab that last box of Birra. Finally!

COOKING: I did the overnight defrost in the fridge, one method they suggest, and put the stew in a pot on the stove. For 16 oz of meat plus sauce ($7.99) its not an enormous amount and of course beef is expensive. They give your a fair amount of chunks of beef and sauce but you need other things with it, certainly tortillas. For us with some corn tortillas, a little rice, and a little salad, the package of birria was just enough for two of us for a dinner. I found the beef and sauce tasty, with the beef appealingly tender, stringy and moist. The sauce the beef is cooked in is good, it’s made from tomatoes, chiles and spices. The ingredients read like real home cooked food: “Beef, water, onions, tomatoes, chile peppers and spices”. Generally the beef is decent quality however we found a few inedible fatty pieces, but just one or two and fyi some fat is actually important in this dish! So don’t just skim it off. That’s what you should dip your tortillas in, the yellow fat on top of the broth and fry up the tortillas as the package suggests. Now BIRRIA is especially known for the stock or broth which they call the “consommé” and typically is served alongside the meat in a cup so you can dip tortillas in it. Trader Joe’s version didn’t have enough broth for me anyway. Frankly I wished they gave more broth with this. Frankly I would like about double what they give you. So what I actually ended up doing was I added maybe a 1/2 cup of water to the pot and simmered it for 30-40 minutes to get more broth. I also added one large zucchini, quartered to the pot, and let that simmer in the broth, and it all came out delicious and gave it some more juice too. Though I did not find this overly salty in taste, FYI the Sodium content listed on the package is pretty high. One portion (1/2 a package) contains over 1000mg sodium which is almost half (47%) of one’s daily recommended sodium so just be informed. I would certainly not recommend that one person eats the whole thing as that would be over 2000 mg of sodium. By my adding water and a veg to make more broth I did dilute things a bit and it was still tasty and not watery at all, if you want to go in that direction. A Vegetable cooked in the broth will be delicious. We served this with corn tortillas and a little rice, and it made for a pretty tasty dinner. Birria is always served with chopped cilantro and chopped onion so consider that a must to add on top like the Serving Suggestion. Buy cilantro and onions along with your preferred tortilla to go with the Birria. I vote for corn tortillas. All in all I liked this, and would say this is one of Trader Joe’s better items, it almost tastes like it was home made. If you can find this (!) I think this is worth trying and I would buy it again.

$7.99 for 16 oz.

Trader Joe’s Beef Birria is tender, slow-cooked beef in a flavorful broth made with crushed tomatoes, dried chiles, and aromatic spices and often served as a simple stew….make your own Birria tacos….if your mantra is “everything is better with cheese,” then make Quesabirria tacos! We dip corn tortillas in the savory broth and fry them in a hot pan, top them with Birria and shredded mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle chopped onions and cilantro and fold into a taco. We suggest frying each side until the tortillas are crispy and the cheese is gloriously gooey and begins to brown at the edges. But don’t stop there—that lusciously spiced broth serves as a delectable dip for your tacos, too.”

Finally if you want to really learn about this dish there’s a really good documentary series on Netflix called the TACO CHRONICLES and it has a whole episode about making Birria in Jalisco, Mexico, it’s point of origin. And you will see, it is traditionally made with goat, the most authentic meat for Birria.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chefchenko
    Jan 24, 2023 @ 16:56:48

    Sounds like a sodium bomb. Nothing more.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: