Instant Pot birria tacos are great. A spicy pulled beef recipe made in your pressure cooker or Ninja Foodi with a Mexican flare. Wrapped in a tortilla for dinner, these will be a hit with everyone in your house for sure.
Wondering if you could cook birria tacos Instant Pot style? Well you can and it is better than any other method out there. Under high pressure you’ll get the tenderest shreds of meat with a killer sauce you can use as a dip when it’s done too. One of many easy Instant Pot recipes on our site. (affiliate links present)
Ninja Foodi Birria Tacos
As with any of our other pressure cooker recipes it doesn’t matter what brand you have at home. We make it as an easy Ninja Foodi recipe of course, in our IP and a Crockpot Express would work just the same.
There are a few types of meat you could use for this. Lamb and beef are most common, but since we are focusing on family friendly we’re using boneless country style ribs. These work great for the wallet and break down well in order to suck up the flavors in that killer sauce while cooking.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! Now let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.
Beef Birria Tacos
Ok so you’ve made air fryer tacos filled with ground beef, great. Instant Pot pork tacos get super tender with flavorful drippings, yes. BUT then there’s these. You will NOT need to add anything to the top of these babies once they are done. You literally just fill your taco shells or soft tortillas with maybe cilantro for flare and serve.
WITH a little bowl on your plate filled with the warm birria sauce from the pot. That is right, it’s kinda’ like a Mexican au jus if you want to call it that. If you left this part out it wouldn’t be birria, like French dip wouldn’t be right without that liquid on the side right??
It’s sweet, spicy, smoky marinated shredded beef basically. If I had to compare it to how pungent and flavorful I might compare it to mole in the sense that it’s heavily seasoned meat with some serious heat. Of course you can adjust it to how spicy you want it to be if you make it homemade.
Really you could use any cut of beef you wanted, I like using what I have in the freezer or what is on sale. Chuck roast works well too. The only suggestion is to use a boneless cut, or remove it yourself. Also I like a bit leaner so I don’t have to trim before or after serving. Less prep for me that way.
Easy Birria Tacos Recipe
Traditional birria is made of all different types of dried peppers, adobo, garlic, cumin, bay leaves, and onion, coriander, the list goes on and on. The kinda’ nice thing about making it yourself is you can not only adjust the heat but it’s easy to swap out one seasoning for another if it isn’t your favorite.
If you have a Mexican grocery store nearby you can find them all there. I will link to them below too if it is easier to just order them all online.
How to rehydrate dried chile peppers
This is easy with this one because it is going into a pot with liquid. First though you must prepare properly. Removing the stems and seeds is a MUST, that is the hot part. You might want to even use rubber gloves to do this if you think you might be sensitive.
- Once seeds and stems are removed, discard those
- Set your Instant Pot to saute and add them in
- Move them around for about 5 minutes until they become fragrant
- Add all of your other ingredients and liquids, heat under high pressure to rehydrate
- When done, strain or blend until smooth in a blender and use the flavorful sauce to dip your tacos in
Easy peasy. If you want more of a medium heat then I suggest you cut the amount of each in half. Leaving them whole helps to tame them down as well so don’t slice or dice them into smaller pieces.
What is a Birria Taco
Like I said before, the biggest difference is the sauce the meat is cooked in AND served on the side. You will want to either strain it after the meat is removed for a milder version or blend it until smooth for a spicier flavor.
Traditionally they aren’t served with toppings but sometimes I do still throw some cheese on there, pepper jack is fabulous. The list of ingredients for birria tacos sauce long, but worth it…..
- 4 cascabel chili peppers dry
- Ancho chili peppers dry
- New Mexico chili peppers dry
- de arbol or guajillo chiles
- 2.5 tbsp oil
- An onion sliced or diced
- Minced garlic
- Bay leaves
- Whole cinnamon stick is optional
- 3 tsp oregano
- Cumin, coriander, ginger
- Black peppercorns and cloves
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tomato paste
- 4 c beef stock
3 lbs boneless short ribs or boneless country style ribs were used. You could increase it to up to 4 lbs. max without changing the timing much and having enough liquid to cook it in.
Instant Pot Chicken Birria Tacos
You literally could use 3 lbs of boneless breasts or thighs with this same sauce to make it with poultry instead. If you do this you’l want to cut down the cook time to just 20 minutes instead since it doesn’t take as long to create shredded chicken under pressure.
- Start by removing the stems and seeds from your dried chilies. Cut off the ends and shake out the seeds. Place in instant pot and push the saute.
- Toast until aromatic, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from pot and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season ribs on both sides with salt and pepper and place into the hot oil.
- Sear the beef on each side for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pot.
- Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to the pot and add onion and garlic, cooking until soft, about 6 minutes.
- Frequently scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, oregano, cumin, coriander, ginger, peppercorns and cloves. Stir in vinegar and tomato paste.
- Combine and add in chilies and meat to the pot. Pour stock on ribs and chilies making sure they are covered.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and seal shut. Close the pressure release valve. Set the instant pot to manual, high pressure cooking for 60 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, release the pressure and let the steam release. Once released, carefully open the pot.
- Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and discard. Remove beef and place it in a bowl. Use two forks to shred.
For a spicier sauce: Place all of the chiles and half of the liquid from the instant pot in a blender. Blend until smooth. For milder: Use a strainer to remove everything but the liquid. Make tacos out of the meat and serve sauce in a small bowl on the side.
How do you eat birria taco
#1 DON’T THROW AWAY THAT SAUCE IN THE POT! Did I say that loud enough. 😉 That is what defines these from regular tacos. This is when you can really adjust to your liking. Of course if you blend the chiles themselves you will really ramp up the HOT. I usually strain everything out because I’m a wimp. 😉
You could add or offer other toppings if you are creating a quesabirria tacos bar for a party too though like;
- Feta cheese
- Fresh chopped white onions and cilantro
- Diced fresh tomatoes
- To cool it down you could have blue cheese cole slaw available
Have soft corn tortillas or flour tortillas available or you can crisp them by adding the meat and cooking them in a cast iron skillet like you see here. Add cheese for birria quesadillas cooked until lightly crispy, or roll up inside and create a few air fryer flautas.
You could do the same thing in a slow cooker on low heat for 8 hours or until the meat can be shredded with 2 forks. On the stovetop in a large pot, covered, it would take several hours on medium high heat for the same tenderness. Let us know what you think after it’s served!!
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Instant Pot Birria Tacos
- 4 cascabel chili peppers dry
- 2 ancho chili peppers dry
- 1 New Mexico chili peppers dry
- 4 de arbol chili pepper dry
- 3 lbs boneless beef short ribs or boneless country ribs
- 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 3 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 c beef stock
- Remove the stems and seeds from the dry chilies. Cut off the ends and shake out the seeds. Place into the instant pot and push the sautee button. Toast chilies until aromatic, about 5 minutes.
- Remove form pot and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the instant pot on sautee mode. Season ribs on both sides with salt and pepper and place into the hot oil. Sear each side of the ribs for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pot.
- Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to the pot and add onion and garlic, cooking until soft, about 6 minutes. Frequently scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, oregano, cumin, coriander, ginger, peppercorns and cloves. Stir in vinegar and tomato paste. Combine and add in chilies and ribs to the instant pot. Pour beef stock on ribs and chilies making sure they are covered.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and seal shut. Close the pressure release valve. Set the instant pot to manual, high pressure for 60 minutes. When cooking is complete, release the pressure and let the steam release. Once released, carefully open the pot.
- Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and discard. Remove beef and place it in a bowl. Use two forks to shred the beef.
- For a spicier sauce: Place all of the chiles and half of the liquid from the instant pot in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the blended liquid back into the pot. Make tacos out of the meat and serve sauce in a small bowl on the side.
- For a milder sauce: Place a strainer on top of a large bowl. Pour liquid from pressure cooker into strainer, discard everything in strainer. Make tacos out of the meat and serve this strained sauce in a small bowl on the side.