Elk NetworkElk Mexican Birria

Carnivore's Kitchen | December 6, 2023

Chef | Jaime Teigen

Originating from the Mexican state of Jalisco, birria is meat stew marinated in a sauce infused with chiles and other spices. A friend who often travels to Mexico shared the sauce with me, and this dish has quickly become a favorite of mine when I cook for groups. The slow-cooked meat and sauce features the superbly robust flavor of the guajillo and ancho chilies coming together.

Whether served over rice or in tacos, elk, with its wonderful mild flavor, is an excellent choice of meat for this dish. It has since become one of my most widely requested recipes and I hope it also becomes one of yours.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Serves: 10-12

Main Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. elk roast, cut into 4 large chunks
  • 2 lbs. bone-in elk shoulder roast, chuck roast or shanks. As an alternative, add additional boneless meet and 2 ½ marrow bones.
  • 7-8 cups hot water
  • 1 large white onion, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 garlic bulb, unpeeled but with narrow top cut off
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced into quarters
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2” pieces
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 guajillo chilies
  • 4 ancho chilies
  • 3 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt

Topping Ingredients:

  • Diced red or white onion
  • Cilantro
  • Mexican crema
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled



In a large stock pot, add all main ingredients, cover with water and bring to a boil.

After 30 minutes, in a pan, remove the meat and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, blend the sauce from the pot until smooth.

Strain the peppers if needed to remove bits of skin (if using a high-powered blender this step is not necessary).

Add the blended sauce and the meat back to the pot.

Cover and continue to simmer for about 6 hours or until the meat is fork tender and easily falls off the bone if using bone-in cuts. Pull out the meat, remove the bone and shred. Add meat back to the sauce and give it a good stir.


Serving Options:

Over Rice: Spoon some cooked rice into each bowl, then shredded meat with birria sauce and top with red onion, cilantro, crema and crumbled cotija cheese with some tortilla chips on the side.

Tacos: Lightly coat flour or corn tortillas in birria sauce. In a skillet or flat-top grill, place the tortillas crisp on side, then add shredded cheese, shredded meat, cilantro and diced white onions, fold up like a taco and enjoy!


As a passionate hunter, fisher and avid outdoorswoman, wild game chef Jaime Teigen loves to help people learn fresh, practical and fun ways to make the most of their harvest in the kitchen and out on the grill.