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Slow Cooker Birria Tacos

A slow cooker makes this take on a stewed Mexican dish tender and easy to prepare at home. Try it as traditional tacos or as a flavorful bowl with toppings.

Serves 8
Ready in 520 mins
Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 500 mins
486 calories per serving


> 1 onion, roughly chopped
> 6 cloves garlic, peeled
> 1 tsp dried oregano
> 1/2 tsp ground cumin
> 1/2 (7 oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
> 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
> 3 cups water
> 4 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
> 3 bay leaves
> 4 sprigs thyme
> 8 corn tortillas
> or 8 hard shell tacos
> 1 1/2 cups Cotija
> or 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, plus more for garnish
> Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


To a blender, add the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, chipotle peppers and sauce, whole tomatoes, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Purée until smooth.
To a 6-qt slow cooker, add the pork fat-side up. Season with salt and pepper. Pour chipotle mixture over pork and add the bay leaves and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 8–10 hours, until pork is very tender.
Remove pork from slow cooker. Shred pork with two forks and discard fat pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Skim the fat from the top of cooking liquid and reserve, yielding about ⅓ cup fat. Make a dipping sauce, if desired, by combining 2 cups cooking liquid, ¼ cup chopped onions, and ¼ cup chopped cilantro.
Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium. Dip a tortilla into the reserved fat or use canola oil. Place on skillet and top with shredded birria and a spoonful of cheese. Fold the taco over and press down with spatula. Cook until the taco is crispy and golden, about 2–3 min. per side. Repeat process with remaining tortillas. Top with cheese and cilantro to serve. Serve with dipping sauce, if desired.


To make a kid-friendly version, skip the spicy sauce and just serve meat and cheese in taco shells or tortillas.

To serve as another meal for 4: Reserve 3 cups birria meat mixture. Heat 2 (8.8 oz) pkgs Nature’s Promise® White Quinoa according to package directions. Divide quinoa among 4 bowls. Microwave birria mixture 1 min., until heated through. Top bowls with birria pork mixture, 1 sliced avocado, ½ cup sliced radishes, ½ (10 oz) bag Nature’s Promise® Organic Vegetable Slaw, and ½ cup Greek yogurt

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