Instant Pot Beef Birria Tacos | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Milk Street Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Birria Tacos

2½ hours 1¼ hours active

Instant Pot Beef Birria Tacos

Birria, from the state of Jalisco on the western coast of Mexico, is a succulent stew of shredded meat in a thick, intense, chili-rich sauce. It traditionally is made with goat, but these days, beef and lamb are common. Our version is made with meaty boneless beef short ribs and is loosely based on the recipe taught to us by home cook Aidee Gonzalez in Mexico City. Four varieties of dried chilies went into Gonzalez’s birria, but to simplify slightly, we chose three that are easy to source but deliver lots of earthy, fruity depth and complexity. Instead of braising the beef on the stovetop with the chilies, we pressure-cook it in a 6-quart Instant Pot with a minimal amount of water until fork-tender so the flavor is meaty and concentrated. (If you’d like instructions for braising in a Dutch oven, we’ve included them below.) Only after reducing the cooking liquid and shredding the meat do we introduce a puree of chilies, aromatics and spices. This unconventional technique results in a birria that we think tastes brighter and livelier than one in which the chilies are subjected to the same hours-long cooking as the beef. For making birria tacos, Gonzalez offered warm corn tortillas, plus avocado for creaminess and sliced white onion for allium pungency and crunch.

6 to 8

Servings

Tip

Don’t use canned chipotle chilies here, as they’re packed in adobo sauce, which would alter the flavor profile of the birria. (If you’re wondering, morita chilies are a type of chipotle. They are dark red-purple and relatively soft because they have been smoked for less time than the stiff, dry, brown chipotle variety, which sometimes is called chipotle meco. Either type works in this recipe.) Also, don’t over-toast the chilies. The pods scorch easily, and if scorched, they will taste bitter. When they become aromatic and just a shade darker, they’re done.

2½ hours

1¼ hours active

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch chunks

  • ½

    large white onion, cut into large chunks, plus thinly sliced white onion, to serve

Directions

  1. 01
    In a 6-quart Instant Pot, stir together the beef, onion chunks, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ cup water. Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 50 minutes.

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