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Tijuana-Style Beef Birria Phyllo Bombs

Tijuana-Style Beef Birria Phyllo Bombs

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We’re headed down South with today's recipe of Tijuana-style beef birria phyllo bombs! Tender meat with a subtle heat in a buttery flaky phyllo crust dipped in mouthwatering juices? Sign me up. This is a wonderful recipe for a fiesta but you’ll want to do this on a night when you have some time. The longest part is cooking the meat in the instapot but outside of that, it’ll only take you about 40ish minutes to make the chili sauce, build birria phyllo bombs, and bake to perfection. We recommend serving up these birria phyllo bombs with our 4 ingredient guacamole, and our fresh homemade flour tortillas baked into tortilla chips.

What is Birria in Birria Phyllo Bombs?

Birria is a Mexican meat stew hailing from the state of Jalisco. It’s typically made of goat, beef, mutton, or chicken marinated in an adobo made of vinegar, chilies, garlic, and select herbs and spices that’s then cooked in a broth. Often served at celebrations like weddings or holidays like Christmas, the dish is widely popular. The origins of the dish date back to 1519, when Hernán Cortés and his merry band of Conquistadors landed in Mexico.

When they landed, they brought with them a great deal of the old world including livestock like goats. During their conquest of the Aztecs, the goats began to reproduce at an alarming rate which led to overpopulation. The Conquistadors decided to give a great deal of goats to the Aztecs. In general, Conquistadors looked down on goat meat because to them it was tough, had a pungent odor, and was hard to digest but to the native Aztecs they gladly accepted them.

The Aztecs would marinate the meat in many traditional indigenous cooking styles to make it more palatable and appetizing. These dishes were called birria by the Conquistadors, which was a derogatory term meaning worthless. There is a legend that the dish was made by accident during a volcano's eruption where a shepherd was forced to abandon his goats in a cave where they were cooked perfectly by the volcano’s steam.

The dish would evolve in 1950 when a taquero named Guadalupe Zárate set up a taco stand in Tijuana. At the time, goat meat was expensive and less fatty, so Zárate decided to try making birria with beef. A customer told Zárate to add more liquid to the meat, and the result is now the famous Tijuana-style beef birria. In modern times, Birria is a wide spread favorite across Mexico and the United States.


  • 2 lb chuck roast
  • 8 guajillo chiles
  • 2 ancho chiles
  • 6 Morita chiles
  • Dan-O’s Chipotle Seasoning
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 12 oz of your favorite Cerveza
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ bunch of cilantro

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 fahrenheit
  2. Add guajillo, ancho, and Morito chilis to a pot of water to soften then boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain from the chilis from water and add to a blender with red onion, garlic cloves, Corona, beef stock, cilantro, and lime juice, blend until smooth.
  4. Sear both sides of the chuck roast and place in InstantPot with chili sauce
  5. Cook on high pressure for 1 ½ hours
  6. Remove chuck roast from pot and shred
  7. Strain the chili sauce into a large bowl
  8. In a muffin pan, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and form into the bottom of one muffin section
  9. Add a small amount of mozzarella cheese and top with roast, cilantro and more cheese
  10. Fold over and cover with the remaining phyllo sheet
  11. Brush top with birria juice
  12. Repeat for remaining muffin sections
  13. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown
  14. Remove birria bombs from muffin tin and dip into juice and enjoy!


2 Responses

  1. Without an Instant Pot, I would try cooking with a slow cooker. Would you have an estimation on length of time to cook using slow cooker? Thanks. This recipe sounds and looks amazing. Will be trying it.

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