Recipe: Birria tacos in an Instant Pot

Meal makes 6 servings

H-E-B’s chef Charlotte Samuel has the perfect recipe for birria tacos that you can make in an Instant Pot.

H-E-B’s chef Charlotte Samuel has the perfect recipe for birria tacos that you can make in an Instant Pot.

This Mexican dish is a meat stew that was traditionally made from goat meat, but has evolved to include beef as the protein.

Birria tacos have become a trending dish that can be served at celebrations that include weddings, baptisms, holidays, Christmas and Easter, or any family gathering.

To serve the tacos, use corn tortillas, onion, cilantro and lime.

Cook time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Prep time: 25 minutes


  • 2 large dried guajillo chilies, stems removed
  • 2 medium dried arbol chilies (or more if you want it spicier)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 1/2-pound beef shank (bone-in)
  • 1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tablespoons ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 medium bay leaf 12 corn tortillas


  1. Add 2 to 3 inches of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove stems from dried peppers and drop into water. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until peppers are fairly soft.
  2. While peppers are simmering, turn on Instant pot to “saute” setting. Season meat on both sides with salt as desired. Working in several small batches, add oil and meat to Instant pot and sear well. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Remove peppers from hot water and place in blender. Add tomato, chicken stock, lime juice, garlic and pulse briefly, just until mostly smooth.
  4. Add onions, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, oregano and bay leaf to the pan of the Instant Pot and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Add seared meat and tomato sauce back into the Instant Pot.
  5. Set on the “Manual” setting and set time for 45 minutes. After cooking time has passed, allow the pot to release steam naturally.
  6. Remove meat from the cooking broth and shred meat. Set aside.
  7. To assemble tacos: Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat and toast tortillas lightly on both sides. After toasting lightly, brush both sides with meat juices and sauce mixture and toast in the skillet again until lightly crispy.
  8. Fill taco shells with birria meat and toppings of your choice, such as shredded cabbage, cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro.
  9. Chef’s note: This recipe can also be done low and slow in a crockpot. Cooking time will be 4 to 5 hours, or until beef is tender and shreds easily.

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Drink pairing

H-E-B recommends trying Karbach Viva Chela for a beer pairing and Roscato Rose Dolce Limited Edition for the wine pairing.

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