Birria Grilled Cheese

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Birria Grilled Cheese - Cuso Cuts

I am a fan of grilled cheese in general, but add birria sauce, and you get a whole new dimension of flavor. This dish is a little time-consuming, but you can’t hurry greatness.

What is Birria

Birria is a rich-tasting stew served with braising liquid that comes from the cooking process. There are numerous types of birria (many families claim to have their own secret recipe). Originally, birria began with goat meat. But like many things in the culinary world, birria would not stop with one version. Flavor profiles change, but the idea remains the same.


4 lbs chuck roast (cut into 4 steaks)

Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning

Cuso’s Gravel Seasoning

2 tbsp beef tallow (separated)

14.5 oz chicken broth

2 tbsp garlic

2 Heirloom tomatoes

1 large white onion

2 tsp Marjoram 

2 tsp Oregano

2 tsp Salt

12 oz. Chipotles in adobo sauce

1 bay leaf

1 stick cinnamon

10 guajillo peppers (seeded and sliced)

Italian or Sour Dough Bread (sliced)

8 slices of cheese (your choice)



  1. Sprinkle the steaks evenly on both sides with Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning and Cuso’s Gravel Seasoning
  2. Place one tbsp of beef tallow on a grill plate
  3. Crust the steaks on both sides
  4. In a stew pot, melt the other tbsp tallow
  5. Add the grilled meat, followed by 2 tbsp garlic
  6. Cut two heirloom tomatoes and put them in the pot
  7. Cut the white onion into quarters and add to the developing stock
  8. Integrate marjoram, oregano, salt, red peppers, bay leaf, and cinnamon
  9. Snip the top of the guajillo peppers and get the seeds out
  10. Place them in the pot whole.
  11. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  12. Simmer for two hours. Check the meat to see if it’s fall-apart tender. If not, continue simmering for one more hour.
  13. Strain out the veggies, returning the stock to the pan
  14. Blend the vegetables completely, and pour the resulting sauce back into your stock.
  15. Butter the inside of the bread slices, and layer two slices of cheese per sandwich. 
  16. Use tongs to lay down some beef on the bread, followed by a little sauce and cilantro.
  17. Grill on both sides
  18. Serve with sauce for dipping.

Pit Master’s Memo

When the Spaniards and Mexicans met in the 16th century, inevitably, some fusion food would emerge. In this case, living styles and traditions also transformed. Conquistadores had exotic spices and animals, including pigs and chickens. Goats, however, were considered a nuisance, eating everything in their path. There were quickly too many goats.

Then came the famine. Families began using goats out of necessity. Various herbs came into play to temper the gamey nature of goat meat. People cooked the blend slowly, stewing it underground for hours. Add some hearthside wits, and birria was born. 


Black bean salad



Mexican rice

Pineapple salsa

From the Bar

Aguas frescas

Cinnamon Milk


Medium-bodied red wine


  • You’ll be happy you waited. Some cuts are, well, stubborn!

    Team Cuso on
  • We are so glad you liked it. Sometimes the exact cut of meat changes the results you get. Using the food processor is brilliant

    Team Cuso on
  • I made this tonight. It was outstanding. I did have to shred the beef in my food processor because it wasn’t falling apart like in his video. But one shredded it was really good.

    Cheyenne on
  • I’ve done meat like this in a crock pot before but it took 9 hours on low to get the meat to separate with a fork. Trying your recipe, but instead of simmering on the stove low, I also used my crock pot and put on high. The sauce is fantastic! (did the whole remove meat, drain the veggies, put stock back in crockpot with meat and added back the veggies from the blender). Meat is still not fork tender and putting back on low instead of high and will leave overnight. Hopefully this will be fork tender by the AM and then will have for lunch/diner tomorrow.

    David on
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