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Beef Birria Cornbread Tacos

Chelsea Hanson | May 25, 2023

There’s something magical about beef birria tacos—they combine all the best textures and flavors in one delicious wrapper. There’s cheese, salt, beef, and don’t get us started on that consommé. Chelsea Hanson took this perfect dish and added something we love to see: cornmeal. This recipe features cornbread tortillas and got Chelsea second-place honors at the National Cornbread Cook-off in 2023.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Birria tacos



4 dried guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed 
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound short ribs
8 cups water
1 large yellow onion, cut in half, skin removed
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1½ tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
1½ teaspoons cumin
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons paprika
1½ teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper

Cornbread Tortillas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾  cup hot water

Crunchy Coleslaw

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 carrots, grated
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon  honey
¼ teaspoon salt

Dipping Oil

½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of salt


1 pound shaved beef
2 cups shredded cheese
Salt and pepper
Diced yellow onions, cilantro, and lime wedges for serving


  1. Preheat a 4.5 quart dutch oven over medium heat for the consommé. Toast guajillo peppers in the dutch oven for 15 seconds on each side, then remove. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and brown short ribs for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Add water, onion, garlic, and seasonings. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat slightly, then maintain a low boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. For the tortillas, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Add melted butter and use a spatula or your hands to incorporate until evenly distributed. Add hot water and mix until just combined. Form into a ball and cover with a towel to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Once the consommé has simmered for 30 minutes, remove the guajillo chilis and 2 cups of broth and add to a blender. Blend until smooth, then return to the dutch oven and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Prepare crunchy coleslaw by mixing cabbage and carrots in a medium bowl. Add oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, honey, and salt, then toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the dipping oil by heating ½ cup oil in a shallow pan. Add 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin, and paprika, and a pinch of salt. Keep warm over low heat.
  6. Preheat the griddle over medium heat. Divide cornbread tortilla dough into 12 equal portions, forming each one into a ball, then flattening into a 6- to 7-inch tortilla using a tortilla press, the bottom of a heavy cast iron skillet, or a rolling pin. Use a thin piece of plastic wrap or a freezer bag to roll out the tortillas and avoid sticking.
  7. Cook cornbread tortillas on the hot griddle for about 45 seconds per side, or until they brown in a few spots. Remove from the griddle and keep warm by wrapping in a clean dish towel.
  8. Preheat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add shaved beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook by breaking up with a metal spatula. Once cooked through, add 1 cup of consommé and keep warm over low heat.
  9. To construct the tacos, use tongs to dip a cornbread tortilla in the consommé, then dip in warm oil, coating both sides. Place on the preheated griddle. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese, covering the whole surface of the tortilla. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of shaved beef, positioning the beef on one half of the tortilla. Use a flat spatula to fold the tortilla in half. Press down with the spatula to ensure the taco gets crispy. Flip taco to crisp the other side. Repeat with other cornbread tortillas.
  10. Top tacos with crunchy coleslaw and serve with onions, cilantro, and lime, and a side of consommé for dipping.
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Contributed By: Chelsea Hanson

Chelsea Hanson lives in Nashville, Tennessee and placed second in the 2023 Cornbread Cook-off with these delectable Beef Birria Cornbread Tacos. Learn more about the National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off here!

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