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Birria vs Carnitas: The Final Taco Showdown in Mexican Cuisine

birria vs carnitas

Anyone who has ever set foot on Mexican taco land knows that there are two historic contenders for the number one spot. It’s the birria vs. carnitas dispute. Both dishes have carved a niche in the hearts of Mexican cuisine enthusiasts, and each offers a unique taco experience. 

This definitive taco showdown delves into the history, preparation and distinctive flavors of these Mexican food legends. So whether you’re a seasoned taco aficionado or just a curious foodie, join us on this venture to find out which taco reigns supreme in the battle between carnitas and birria.

Mexican cuisine is famous for its succulent, spicy and juicy dishes, and Mexican tacos are at the forefront of this culinary tradition. Among the myriad varieties of tacos, pork carnitas tacos and birria tacos stand out for their appetizing flavor. 

These two greats represent the pinnacle of taco craftsmanship, each bringing a distinct set of flavors to the Mexican dinner table. 

If there is one thing these two undoubtedly share in common, it is that they are the highlights of any authentic Mexican food menu. But let’s take a closer look at each one…

Carnitas tacos or tacos de carnitas are a staple in Mexican cuisine, beloved for their tender, juicy pork and crispy edges.

These pork carnitas consists of small cuts or pieces of pork meat fried in its own lard. This method of cooking allows the meat to absorb rich flavors, resulting in a delectable filling for tacos. 

So if you’re wondering how to make carnitas tacos, the first answer is with patience. To prepare homemade carnitas tacos, start by preparing the pork with a blend of spices. Could be cumin, oregano, and garlic. 

The meat is usually slow cooked in water with garlic and onion, then fried in lard with orange juice and milk, until the liquids evaporate; finally, the lard browns the meat. Then all that’s left is to serve the carnitas on warm tortillas and complete it with your favorite toppings. 

The toppings for carnitas tacos are as important as the carnitas themselves. Pairing is what makes it perfect, and whether it’s carnitas or birria, no good taco is complete without good toppings. 

Regarding our pork carnitas tacos, traditional toppings include finely chopped onions, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. On the other hand, for a spicier touch, consider radishes, jalapeños or salsa verde. 

Originating in the state of Jalisco, birria is made primarily with goat, mutton, or beef. Variations with lamb and pork are also popular. 

As for how to make birria tacos, the first thing to do is to marinate the meat. Use a mixture of chiles, garlic, cumin and other spices before being simmered to perfection. This Mexican stew is then shredded and served with its broth, often accompanied by warm corn tortillas. This broth is called consomé, and is often served alongside the birria tacos for dipping. 

The birria tacos have gained immense popularity, especially in the form of quesabirria. This ones are filled with birria and cheese and dipped in the stew broth for extra flavor.

When comparing birria and carnitas, it is essential to consider the unique qualities that each dish brings to the table. 

Carnitas tacos offer a simple flavor, centered on succulent pork and enhanced with simple, fresh ingredients. In contrast, birria has a more complex and layered flavor thanks to the marinated meat and accompanying consommé. 

Another distinction is the versatility in serving these dishes. Birria can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as tacos, stew bowls or quesabirria. The consommé adds an extra element of flavor and can be eaten alone or as a dipping sauce. Carnitas, however, are usually served in tacos, where the most important thing is the flavor of the meat and its toppings. 

Choosing between birria and carnitas can be a tricky dilemma. If you are more of a lover of the pure flavor of meat, if you find the beauty of life in the delicate simplicity of things, then carnitas tacos are for you. 

On the other hand, if you like a more complex flavor, with the option of dipping your taco in a tasty and distinctive consommé, the birria tacos are the perfect choice. Also, keep in mind that, because of their cooking methods, carnitas offer a crispier experience while birria is softer and juicier.

The beauty of this dilemma is that there’s no way to go wrong. And what’s even better is that you can choose both. There, the secret answer. These two greats will be waiting for you on the menu for the next time you’re in the mood for an authentic Mexican dinner

After all, this ring, rather than a fight to the death, is the sweet guarantee of being able to enjoy the best of Mexican cuisine without always repeating the same thing. Whichever you choose, you will enjoy a memorable dining experience.

In the end, the showdown between birria and carnitas is not about declaring a winner, but about celebrating the rich diversity of Mexican cuisine. Both carnitas and birria tacos offer unique flavors and textures to suit different tastes and preferences. 

So don’t worry about choosing one of the two now, on the contrary, rejoice in the fact that you can have the best of both worlds. Just gather your friends and family, try both tacos and savor a Mexican dinner to remember.

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