Before moving to Arizona, I had never heard of Birria tacos, and let me tell you – I didn’t know what I was missing out on! Imagine tender, juicy beef with just the right mix of spices, tucked into a warm tortilla, with cheese, chopped onions and cilantro. Yeah, it’s as amazing as it sounds.
It wasn’t long before I wanted to tackle that recipe in my own kitchen. That’s where my trusty Instant Pot came in. This thing is a lifesaver, seriously. It cooks up the beef so it’s nice and tender.
But here’s the real kicker – these Beef Birria tacos are not just amazing to eat, they are the perfect party food. I’m talking about laid-back buffets, family get-togethers, you name it. You just lay out the toppings, the tortillas, that juicy, spicy beef, and boom – everyone gets to build their own tacos. It doesn’t get better than that!
Last time I had folks over, these tacos were the star of the show. Everyone got to add their favorite toppings, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, making each taco a personal experience. It’s safe to say there weren’t any leftovers – every bit of that delicious Beef Birria got snapped up!
So, if you’re looking to bring some serious flavor to your next gathering without running around like crazy in the kitchen, give these Instant Pot Beef Birria tacos a whirl. Trust me, your guests will be singing your praises – and asking for the recipe!
Instant Pot Beef Birria Tacos
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 6 lbs boneless chuck roast cut in chunks, most fat removed
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and quartered
- 1 head of garlic peeled
- 4 dried guajillo chile peppers deseeded and stems removed
- 4 ancho chile peppers deseeded and stems removed
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 7 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 pack of corn tortillas the commonly used
- 1 8 oz Mexican cheese of choice (I love taco cheese mix or Oaxaca cheese) for topping
- 2 yellow onions chopped for topping
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped for topping
- shredded lettuce for topping if desired
- Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and once it says 'HOT', add your oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the meat chunks, making sure not to crowd the pot, sear on all sides until browned. Repeat until every piece of meat is browned. Set meat aside on a plate for later.
- While the beef browns, remove stems and deseed the dried chilies. Shake the seeds out of the chile pods. Remember, the more seeds you leave in, the spicier it will be.
- In a skillet, dry toast the chiles, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick over medium heat. Gently shake the skillet to ensure the spices are evenly toasted. This is a couple of minutes and you will begin to smell and aroma coming from the spices.
- Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. When it’s hot, add the toasted the spices, onion, garlic cloves, and oregano.
- Pour enough cold water in to cover everything. Let it simmer on Sauté, covered and venting for about 15 minutes. Once done. Shut off the Instant Pot and wait until there is no more steam coming out.
- Pour the contents in the Instant Pot through a mesh strainer.
- Save 1 cup of the liquid and discard the cinnamon stick.
- Add all the solids you just strained, the chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed tomatoes, cumin, and the reserved cup of liquid to a blender. Blend until nice and smooth. Sometimes I forget and I add the 1 cup of liquid to the Instant Pot instead after this step. It's called mommy brain!
- Add the meat, the blended sauce, the bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, and the beef broth into the Instant Pot. Lock the lid and set to high pressure. Cook for 60 minutes. The instant pot will take some time to get to temperature and then the 60 minute countdown begins.
- When time is up, let the Instant Pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the venting knob for a quick release of the rest of the pressure.
- Remove the meat from the Birria liquid onto a baking pan and shred with two forks.
- Remove bay leaves from Birria sauce in the Instant Pot.
- Use a large spoon to skim some of the fat off the top of the Birria sauce and into a bowl to use for Birria taco preparation and dipping. I personally like to clean up the sauce and keep it all. I will use it for recipes like the Birria Ramen I linked in this post.
- Now you have delicious Beef Birria ready for you to enjoy in a taco.
Assembling your taco
- Warm up a griddle or a pan and spray with lightly with oil.
- Begin by dipping the tortillas in the reserved Birria liquid quickly on both sides.
- Lay the tortillas on the griddle or pan and immediately begin to add desired toppings. I start with some cheese then the Birria beef.
- Then I garnish with the chopped onions, cilantro.
- Next, fold the taco and lightly press it down. Its should be nice and golden.
- Remove from pan and set on your serving platter. Continue with the rest.
- If you’ve got some Birria broth left, serve it on the side for dipping. Dunking the crispy taco into the savory, spiced broth takes the whole experience up a notch!
- I also serve with a wedge of lime on the side. Squeeze the lime over the taco to add a zesty kick that brightens up the flavors.