Trader Joe’s Beef Birria Review

Trader Joe's Beef Birria

While we haven’t done this in a good long while now (mostly thanks to the pandemic), we do love stopping at a local taco truck now and again. And that’s why the Trader Joe’s Beef Birria caught our eye — this batch of beef might be able to give us just a hint of that taco-truck flavor in the comfort of our own homes.

To be clear, what you’re getting in this package is just the meat portion — if you want to turn these into street-style tacos, you’ll have to pick up some additional ingredients. There are some simple instructions on the back of the package involving tortillas, onions, and cilantro. (There’s also a really great recipe on House of Yum, if you want to try making these from scratch.)

Now, birria beef tends to be slow-cooked, but we’re in the business of getting our food hot fast. So rather than going through all the steps of cooking this in the oven, we’re just using the microwave today. We will point out that this beef was already slow-cooked, if you believe the copy on the Trader Joe’s website; we’re just re-heating it. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions for this beef, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Trader Joe's Beef Birria

Now, this comes out of the microwave looking more like a soup than a batch of beef. That’s how it’s supposed to look. This is supposed to be a moist, flavor-packed batch of beef, so keeping it submerged in liquid while it cooks will preserve both the consistency and the flavor. If you drain the excess liquid after cooking, you’ll be left with a wet batch of beef that’s perfect for loading up a tortilla.

Trader Joe's Beef Birria

Now, this is not intended to be eaten on its own; this is just one component in a broader meal, whether you take that in the street-taco direction, make a stew, or come up with some other use for it.

That said, this beef is delicious. It’s stringy, super-moist, and loaded up with flavor. This has onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers boiled into it, so the flavor of the beef is met with undertones of tomatoes and pepper, which is pretty incredible.

We did end up making tacos with this beef, and they were delicious. We would actually really love to try this in a burrito with a nice, creamy cheddar sauce and some pinto beans. We’re definitely going to have to pick up more of this so we can experiment further.

According to the package, there are two servings in this container. If you stick with a half-container serving size, you’ll be consuming 280 calories and 1,090 mg of sodium. If you eat the full thing, you’ll be up to 570 calories and 2,180 mg of sodium. And that’s before you consider any additional ingredients like tortillas or what have you.

The Trader Joe’s Beef Birria is a very good component for authentic-tasting street tacos. We think that creative cooks are going to have a lot of fun with this stuff, and we’re curious to hear about some recipes that make use of it. If you share some recipes in the comments, we might have to try some of them!

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this Trader Joe’s beef, check out our package scan below.

Trader Joe's Beef Birria
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I just tried this, and it was absolutely disgusting. About 90% fat and gristle, and maybe 10% actual meat. I’m not certain it was intended for human consumption.

1 year ago

I second Alison’s comment. About 1/2 of the beef had undissolved fat and cartilage that I had to pick out, and there was an enormous pinky sized piece of rubbery gristle. The flavor was absolutely nothing special. I’ve done much better myself and I am a journeyman home chef. Perhaps there was enough meat for 4 small tacos. A terrible value at $8 and super low quality meat. This is basically low quality spicy pot roast.

7 months ago

Just cooked this. If you remove the fat and salt you’re left with garlic flavored gravy.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x