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Difference Between Birria and Quesabirria

Birria and quesabirria tacos are popular tacos in the US and Mexico.

They both contain meats that have been stewed in a highly flavorful and spicy broth, and they are often served with a dipping sauce which is also made from the broth, and where the tacos are dipped inside.  

Quesabirra and Birria have a lot in common, however, there are a couple of differences that set them apart  

In this post we highlight the differences between birria and quesabirria 

What is birria?

A delicacy from the state of Jalisco in Mexico 

Birria is typically a highly flavored meat stew popular in Mexico.

This meat stew features a wide variety of ingredients and the recipes may vary from region to region.

Traditionally, birria is made from goat meat.

The goat meat is cooked in a broth that is seasoned with a variety of spices including ancho and guajillo chili which gives the stew a deep, red hue.

This stew is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It is often served at celebrations and is also used as a hangover cure.

How Birria is prepared

Red meats are better suited for making birria  

Although it is typically made from goat meat, other meats could be used to make birria such as beef.

Essentially a tough cut of meat that can withstand the slow cooking process is used  

This meat is braised in a broth containing dried red chilis such as ancho or guajillo peppers, tomatoes, oregano, onion, garlic. Cumin, and cloves.

Birria could take a few hours to cook on the stovetop until it is tender.

How is birria served?

Birria could be served in a variety of ways  

Traditionally the stew is eaten together with a side of tortilla, and it garnished with cilantro and onions. 

The meat could be served together with its braising liquid, or the braising liquid could be served on a separate plate where the tortillas filled with shredded birria meat are dipped in. 

In the US, it is popular to find this meat stew being used as a filling for tacos.

The shredded birria meat is used as a filling for tacos, while the braising liquid is used as a dipping sauce for the tacos..

What is quesabirria?

Quesabirria is a Mexican dish that is very similar to birria.

This dish combines the cheesy sweetness of a quesadilla and the savory flavor of birria stew.

Quesabirria is simply a variation of birria that comprises of pan-fried crispy corn tortillas filled with birria-style beef and melted cheese

This particular variation of birria originated in Tijuana, Mexico, and its popularity has grown worldwide. 

It is also served with a side of birria as a dipping sauce.

The name of this dish “Quesabirria” is a reference to the combination of cheese and birria in this dish. 

The meat most often used in quesabirria is beef, and the most common cut is brisket.

A variety of cheeses could be used including traditional Mexican cheese such as Chihuahua cheese.

Mozzarella cheese can also be melted with the stew, and sometimes more than one type of cheese is used. 

The tortilla is filled with cheese and meat, and then it folded over on a griddle which melts the cheese, meat and tortilla together. 

The pan-fried, meat filled tortillas are then dipped in a sauce that consists of the birria broth.

Quesabirria vs birria

The main difference between Quesabirria and birria is that quesabirria contains melted cheese.

Birria is a spicy goat meat stew that is often used for tacos, while quesabirria is a dish that consist of birria style meat and melted cheese folded into a corn tortilla.

Also, Quesabirria is more common in the US while birria is more popular in Mexico.

Birria is popularly made with goat meat although it could be made with other meats including pork and beef. Quesabirria, on the other hand is more often made with beef.