Quesabirria With Escabeche

Down arrow. Click to jump to the recipe.

Jump to recipe

Quesabirria tacos are crispy, cheesy, and juicy tacos filled with tender beef birria and melted cheese, dipped in a flavorful broth. Escabeche is a quick and easy pickled vegetable salad that adds a refreshing crunch and tang to balance the richness of the quesabirria.
Freezer Friendly
Slow Cooker

Imagine biting into a taco that is crispy, cheesy, and juicy all at once. A taco that is filled with tender beef that has been slow-cooked in a rich and spicy broth, and topped with melted cheese that oozes out with every bite. A taco that you can dip in the leftover broth for extra flavor and satisfaction. That, my friends, is a quesabirria taco. And it’s one of the most delicious things you’ll ever taste.

To complete this delicious meal, you need a side dish that can complement the quesabirria without overpowering it. That’s where escabeche comes in. Escabeche is a simple and versatile pickled vegetable salad that can be made with whatever you have on hand. In this recipe, we use radishes, carrots, onion, and jalapeno, but you can also add cauliflower, cucumber, or any other crunchy veggie. The vinegar and spices add a bright and zesty flavor that helps mellow the richness of the quesabirria.

Customizing This Dish

  • For the beef, you can use any cut of meat that is suitable for slow cooking, such as brisket, chuck, or short ribs.
  • For the cheese, you can use any melty cheese that you like, such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Oaxaca. You can also skip the cheese if you want to make regular birria tacos.
  • For the escabeche, you can use any combination of vegetables that you like, as long as they are crunchy and can hold up to the pickling process. You can also adjust the amount of sugar, salt, and spices to your taste, or add more vinegar or water to make the brine more or less acidic.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Store the beef and the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat them in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and bubbly.
  • Store the escabeche in a glass jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You don’t need to reheat it, just bring it to room temperature before serving.

Freezing and Reheating

This recipe makes a pretty big batch of birria, so you may find yourself with more leftovers that you can eat. Luckily, the birria is very freezer friendly!

Freeze the beef and the broth in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag, with as little air as possible, for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours, before reheating.

Quesabirria With Escabeche

Quesabirria With Escabeche

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
8 hours
Total Time:
8 hours, 20 min
Equipment Needed
  • 6 quart crock pot
  • A large mason jar with lid

For the Birria:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves

For the escabeche:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 8 radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced (remove seeds for less heat)

To Assemble:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ white onion, finely diced
  • lime wedges
  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat and brown the beef on all sides, working in batches if needed. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Place the guajillo and ancho chiles in a blender and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then add the garlic, vinegar, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Blend until smooth and season with salt to taste.
  3. Pour the chile sauce over the beef in the slow cooker and add the beef broth and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Discard the bay leaves and shred the beef with two forks. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce. Reserve some of the sauce for dipping, if desired.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegars, water, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. In a large glass jar or container, layer the radishes, carrots, onion, and jalapenos. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables, making sure they are submerged. Let the jar cool slightly, then seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 weeks.
  7. To make the tacos, heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat and lightly grease with oil. Dip a corn tortilla in the sauce leftover from cooking the birria and place it on the griddle. Cook for 1 minute, then flip the tortilla over. Sprinkle some cheese on one half of the tortilla and top with some beef. Fold the tortilla over and press lightly to seal. Cook until crisp and golden on both sides, flipping once. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, and beef.
  8. Serve the tacos with topped with the chopped cilantro, onion. Place some of the escabeche on the plate, along with lime wedges and more sauce for dipping.
Recipe Tips
Join our newsletter
No spam. Just the latest recipes, CSA tips, and Green Heart Garden news.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Back to Top Arrow