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Instant Pot Beef Birria

If you only make one meal in your Instant Pot, make it this one. This easy Beef Birria recipe brings back memories of some of the most amazing meals I've had in Arizona and California. By using the Instant Pot, you eliminate the long cook time, without sacrificing any flavour.

The best beef birria you'll ever make!
Instant Pot Beef Birria Tacos

Beef Birria is essentially stewed beef in a combination of spices. It's not just for tacos, it's delicious on its own, when you use a crusty bun to sop up the consomme. It can be served over rice with beans or even added to ramen, elevating the instant noodle to new heights.


The use of the Instant Pot is to simplify and expedite the cooking process; and this recipe was designed to eliminate any truly extraneous steps and dirty dishes. For example, I've found that not browning the beef cubes, as in other versions, had no impact on the overall flavour of the dish. Not toasting the already dried chilis first didn't seem to make a difference either. I thought that simmering them in water that was only to be tossed, as in other versions was a waste, that's why they get simmered in the stock that is to be used in the dish. Which, as it turns out, adds a lot of flavour to the end result.

A few notes regarding ingredients: traditionally the type of beef usually called for is of the fattier variety, such as a chuck roast. I used a sirloin tip roast with great success. Use what you have, or what happens to be on special this week. For cooking fat, use the oil you have. I tend to favour duck fat, it's delicious. When selecting canned tomatoes, I head to my basement pantry and grab a jar of home canned. I suggest getting fire roasted tomatoes if those are available at your local store. Mexican oregano is not necessary, use regular oregano if that's what you have.


Beef Birria can be used in tacos, ramen, and even salads.
Instant Pot Beef Birria

Instant Pot Beef Birria


4 pounds beef, cut into 3- 3 1/2 inch chunks

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon coarse black pepper

4 cups beef stock

4 dried ancho peppers

4 dried guajillo peppers

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, sliced

8 large cloves of garlic, each clove cut in half

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 cups canned tomatoes

2 teaspoons mexican oregano

2 bay leaves


Place beef cubes in a bowl, add salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Set aside.


Remove stems from dried peppers. Add the beef stock to a medium saucepan. Bring stock to a gentle simmer. Add peppers. Simmer 10 -15 minutes to rehydrate peppers. Remove from heat, and set aside when done.


Set your Instant Pot to Saute. Add the oil to the pot. When hot, add onion slices. Stir 3-4 minutes, until softened and reduced in size. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Add another tablespoon of oil if necessary. Stir to prevent sticking and burning.


Add beef cubes. Stir to combine. Add apple cider vinegar, peppers and stock, canned tomatoes, oregano and bay leaves. Mix well.


Set the Instant Pot to high pressure, manual for 60 minutes. Allow your pot to depressurize and release before opening.


Next, remove beef cubes from liquid, set beef aside.

Remove cinnamon sticks and discard.

Strain the remaining liquid in the instant pot, reserving both the solids in the strainer and the strained liquid separately.


Add 3-4 ladles of stock to a blender, then the paste or solids that was strained from the liquid. Blend until smooth. Add this back to the instant pot, select the saute setting, stirring while bringing to a simmer. The sauce should thicken slightly. Season to taste if needed with salt and pepper. Shred the beef cubes, return to the Instant Pot in the blended sauce. Turn Instant Pot off.


Add lid to Instant Pot.

Select Manual/high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow pot to release pressure before opening.


A warm bowl of instant pot birria ramen
Instant Pot Birria Ramen



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