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Instant Pot

Mochitlán-Style Beef Stew with Red Chilies and Chickpea

4 to 6 Servings

FAST: 1 hour 40 minutes
Slow: 7½ to 8½ hours Active time: 35 minutes

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Each year in Mochitlán, in southwestern Mexico, a festival is held to honor Santa Ana, the town’s patron saint. As part of the celebration, the townspeople prepare an elaborate stew called huacaxtoro (also spelled huacashtoro) using the meat of bulls, as the name of the dish suggests. Our Instant Pot version swaps in beef chuck roast and is adapted from a recipe in “The Native Mexican Kitchen” by Rachel Glueck and Noel Morales, proprietors of El Refugio Mezcaleria in Todos Santos, Mexico. You can pressure cook the meat quickly or slow cook it for several hours—either way, it will emerge fork tender. The broth, brick-red and moderately spicy from dried chilies, is laced with creamy chickpeas and summer squash. Serve this hearty stew with flour tortillas for scooping up the savory sauce.

4 to 6



Don’t cook the zucchini or add the lime juice until you’re ready to serve the stew. The beef and chickpeas can be cooked up to two days in advance and refrigerated, but for the best texture and bright flavor, complete the last steps when it’s time to eat.

FAST: 1 hour 40 minutes
Slow: 7½ to 8½ hours

Active time: 35 minutes


  • 8

    medium (2 ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 1

    dried árbol chili, stemmed and seeded (optional)


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Sam S.
June 5, 2023
Made as written and the result was outstanding. Will definitely make again.
John M.
August 24, 2022
I love these native Mexican recipes that Milk Street offers, and this one made for a delightful tasting stew. Easy and quick, I made this recipe using my 3 qt. IP Mini with no crowding. Also pan fried the zucchini in butter and added them in the stew without further cooking in the pressure cooker. Paired with the Mexican-style corn with chili & lime from the same magazine issue, I'll be making this pair many times in the future. Thanks again, Courtney & Milk Street team!
Andrew S.
June 14, 2022
Easy and delicious
This was great. I followed it to the letter, except that I used an old fashioned stovetop pressure cooker rather than an Instant Pot. I really appreciated not having to sear the meat. I was concerned that the chickpeas might turn to mush after 30 minutes of pressure cooking, but that was not the case. The zucchini adds some freshness and color. You could change the flavor profile by experimenting with different combinations of dried chilies.
Tricia H.
June 14, 2022
Good, but was expecting more
I really enjoyed the tenderness of the beef. The chili flavor was there, but I feel the depth could have been more intense. It did remind me of the red chili stew I have had in NM.