Smoked Birria Grilled Cheese is the most insane adult version of a childhood classic. There is so much flavor in each and every bite this sandwich.

This sandwich is packed with smoked beef ribs and beef cheeks for a super rich beefy flavor and texture. The meat has been smoked with oak wood then braised in peppers, onions and garlic.

This dish is so versatile – be sure to give it a try next time you’re looking to cook something a little different!

Ingredients you will need

Protein: Beef cheeks and beef short ribs

Consume: Ancho chilies, guajlo chiles, garlic, white onion, chili peppers in adobo, beef broth, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves

Grilled cheese: Brioche bread, Oaxaca Cheese, cilantro and onion

How to make Birria Grilled Cheese

Start by trimming the excess fat and silver skin off of the beef cheeks and short ribs – I got both of these from BetterFed Beef. I am using my super sharp Spaceman Knives boning knife.

Use yellow mustard as a binder, then season the cheeks and ribs with SPG (salt, pepper, garlic powder) on all sides.

Insert the MEATER Plus to monitor the internal temp throughout this cook. We are targeting a finished internal temp between 200-205°F when it will shred apart.

I fired up my Nomad Grill, set it to 250°F and tossed in a chunk of oak wood. Place the beef cheeks and ribs indirectly on the smoker and let them smoke for 2 hours.

Place the pepper, onion and garlic in a dutch oven with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat off and let them sit for 15 minutes until softened.

Remove the peppers, onions and garlic from the dutch oven and place them in a food processor. Add 1 cup of the braising liquids from the dutch oven then blend it. Once they are blended together, set the blended ingredients aside and discard of the excess braising liquids.

Remove the beef cheeks and ribs from the smoker once the bark is set and it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Place them in the empty dutch oven, then pour in the blended peppers, onions and garlic. Add in the bay leaves, cinnamon and enough beef broth to fully cover all of the meat.

Put the cover on the dutch oven, then bring it to a low simmer for 3-4 hours until fall apart tender.

Remove the meat from the dutch oven and let it cool down. Shred the meat and discard of any large fat chunks that may be visible.. Place it in a pyrex dish with a cup of the consume from the dutch oven to absorb more flavor.

Save the consume that is left over in the dutch oven for later – this is where a ton of flavor is!

Butter the outside of your bread then place it down on some cast iron over medium heat. Add shredded Oaxaca Cheese, smoked meat, fresh cilantro and some raw onion. Place another piece of bread on top then let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Flip the sandwich over and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes until each side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Cut the sandwich in half and serve it up with a side of the consume that was saved.

Dip the sandwich in the consume and enjoy every last bite!

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Birria Grilled Cheese

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Smoked Birria grilled cheese is the ultimate adult upgrade to a childhood classic! Dip the smoked meat, Oaxaca cheese loaded sandwich in some consume and you have one incredible bite!


    • 2 pounds of beef cheeks
    • 2 pounds of beef short ribs
    • 1/2 large white onion
    • 5 cloves of garlic
    • 3 ancho chiles
    • 3 guajlo chiles
    • 4 cups of water
    • 4 cups of beef broth
    • 3 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 bay leaves 

    For the grilled cheese 

    • 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese
    • 1/2 cup cilantro 
    • Sliced bread 
    • 2 tbsp butter


    1. Season beef cheeks and short ribs with salt, pepper, garlic blend 
    2. Place them on a smoker at 225F for 2-3 hours
    3. Boil the peppers, onions and garlic and remove them once softened. Place then in a blender with 1 cup braising liquid  then blend.
    4. Place smoked beef cheeks and short ribs in a dutch oven with the blended up peppers, onions and garlic
    5. Braise on low for 3-4 hours. Once fall apart tender, remove meat from dutch oven then shred.
    6. Butter a piece of brioche bread then place it on a skillet over medium heat. Layer Oaxaca Cheese, smoked meat, onion, cilantro, more Oaxaca Cheese and black another piece of bread on top.
    7. Flip it over after 2-3 minutes and it’s golden brown. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
    8. Serve warm with some leftover consume and enjoy!
    • Author: Nick Nesgoda

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