Mexican Smoked Goat Birria Tacos

Goat birria tacos, or goat tacos with cheese and guajillo chili broth, is a famous goat dish from Jalisco Mexico that’s become a staple of Mexican cuisine in the United States. You braise some goat (lamb is also used) with dried chilis, onion and spices until tender, pull the meat and use it to make tacos, often with cheese, serving the seasoned “consommé de chivo” broth alongside. It’s one of my favorite tacos to make and eat.

Dipping goat birria tacos into consomme de chivo.
Goat birria tacos. A sort of cheese and meat quesadilla served with the cooking liquid for dipping and sipping.

One of the best parts of making birria tacos, is how the tacos are usually served: soaked in the cooking liquid for a bit before they’re fried on a grill or comal with cheese, which basically gives you shredded meat quesadillas.

Necks can vary in size, for this recipe, 1 large goat or lamb neck, or two smaller ones will work fine, even if it’s not the whole 5 lbs called for in the recipe.

Cuts to use

Ideally, you’ll use a slow-cooking cut here like goat neck, or shoulder, but since the meat is cooked a long time, but using the same amount of shanks or leg can work too. I also smoke the goat neck I use here, which, although not traditional, is really good.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef

This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef, a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at 


Smoked goat neck birria tacos
Finished goat birria tacos served with consomme.

More South American Lamb and Goat Recipes

Lamb Head Posole

Lamb Tongue Tacos

Lamb Belly Chifrijo

Smoked goat neck birria tacos
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Mexican Smoked Goat Birria Tacos

Cheesy smoked goat birria tacos, served with guajillo chili broth
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Birria, Goat, Goat Neck
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 400kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Crock pot or slow cooker
  • 1 Smoker optional


Meat and Broth

  • 5 lbs goat neck s or other bone in meat you like, such as shoulder
  • 10 grams dried guajillo chili pods or a combination of dried chilis
  • 5 large cloves garlic peeled and lightly crushed
  • 3 medium white onions
  • 3 ribs celery cut in half
  • 10 cups water
  • ½ tablespoon dried marjoram optional
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried allspice berries
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns whole
  • 2 whole medium tomatoes about 8 oz
  • Kosher salt as needed for the meat and broth

For serving

  • Fresh corn tortillas about 3 per person for an entrée
  • Grated chihuahua cheese to taste, about 1 oz per taco
  • High heat flavorless cooking oil or lard as needed for crisping the tortillas


Season and smoke the goat neck

  • Season the goat neck with 1 tablespoon salt and rub all over and allow to rest for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  • Smoke the neck at 250F for 3 hours, then remove to a slow cooker with the remaining broth ingredients, cover tightly and cook on high for 3-6 hours, or until tender.
  • Pick the meat, discarding any fatty parts and bones. Coarsely shred the meat with two forks, then reserve in a container moistened with 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt.
  • From here, the meat and broth can be prepared ahead up to 3 days. Taste the cooking liquid for salt, adjust as needed.

Reheat and serve

  • Preheat a griddle and oil it lightly. Heat the broth. Quickly dip 3 tortillas per person in the hot broth.
  • Remove the tortillas from the broth to a tray, then put the wet tortillas on a griddle, sprinkle with cheese, and some of the meat, about 1-2 oz per taco.
  • Sprinkle the meat with a pinch of onions. When the underside of the tacos are brown, fold them over and serve, with limes, cilantro, and cups of the cooking broth alongside.



Dipping the tacos in the broth is the best part so make sure you've seasoned it well. 


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg