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Birria Tacos Recipe (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or Dutch Oven)

This recipe is all about authentic Birria Tacos and is the best Birria Tacos recipe for cooking in your Instant Pot. But even if you don’t have an Instant Pot, this recipe is show you how to make the most juicy, out of this world quesabirria tacos in your slow cooker or dutch oven!

Birria Tacos Recipe

Birri tacos recipe using short ribs and chuck roast. The rich, succulent flavorful beef is shredded and soaking in the spicy savory sauce.

Birria tacos are made by dipping your yellow corn tortilla shells in the dark orange-red consommé and frying on a cast iron skillet. Add cheese to create quesabirria tacos. The birria tacos are so juicy and full of out-of-this-world flavor, it will literally be dripping down your shirt!

Beef birria tacos or quesabirria tacos are the most famous tacos in 2022! You can find them all over TikTok and Instagram. Although there are many recipes out there, I’ve gotten feedback that many are bland and don’t taste worth the effort. So I have set out to create the ultimate birria tacos and created an easy way to make them in your Instant Pot for a fraction of the effort!

This post is all about an easy and authentic way to make a birria tacos recipe.

Birria Tacos Recipe

What Ingredients do you need for this easy Birria Tacos recipe?

Here is a list of ingredients you will need to create this delicious and easy birria taco recipe at home for your family and friends:

  1. Beef – 2.5-3 lbs. beef chuck roast + 2 lb. beef short ribs
  2. Chilies – 6-8 dried Guajillo peppers (stems removed) + canned chipotles in adobo
  3. White onion & lots of garlic – I used about 10 cloves of garlic for this recipe and a large white onion
  4. Dried seasonings – bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, clove, oregano, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper
  5. Tomato paste – adds rich flavor tomatoey flavor without the additional liquid from tomatoes
  6. Apple cider vinegar – this adds moisture and aids in tenderizing the meat. It also adds a little sweet acidity too.
  7. Beef stock – this is the base liquid for the consommé we will create
  8. Corn tortillas – be sure to select quality tortillas that won’t tear easily. I love La Tortilla Factory for their authentic hearty shells.
  9. Cheese – grab a melty cheese like shredded Oaxaca (waa-haa-kuh) or quesadilla cheese, mozzarella, monterey jack, etc.
  10. Toppings – lime wedges, diced white onion, chopped cilantro
  11. Oil – for searing meat and cooking the tacos at the final stage

If you cook frequently, there is a good chance you have lots of these items on hand. I usually have onions and garlic, lots of seasonings and extra stock. I was lucky enough with this recipe that I only had to buy cheese, tortillas, cilantro, and of course, the beef.

Easy Birria Tacos for Instant Pot

Helpful Tools to Make These Birria Tacos:

Here are a list of tools that I use in this recipe. Not all of them are “necessary” but they are my go-to items. Since i mention them in my recipe, I like to call them out here in my blog post so there aren’t any surprises and to also name some alternatives. There is nothing worse than having to buy special equipment for a recipe if you can use what you already own.

Cast Iron Skillet – you’ll need a quality skillet to fry up these saucy tacos. Nothing beats a cast iron skillet but you can also use a flat top griddle. If you have neither, a regular pan works as well.

Ladle – not necessary at all, but I always recommend a ladle when dealing with saucy recipes where you reserve/set aside sauce. Additional kitchen tools, like a large spoon, can be used as well.

Instant Pot – setting out on my journey to make these for a quick weekday meal, I made mine in an Instant Pot. But you can also use a slow cooker or dutch oven – recipes for all variations are listed below!

Immersion blender – many of us do not have these. I actually bought one after being annoyed with having to wait for my sauce to cooklin order to put it in my regular blender. Yes, a regular blender works great – but you HAVE to allow the sauce time to cool a bit otherwise it with freaking explore and blow the lid off the blender. Believe me, I am speaking from experience and have scars to prove it. But in my defense, what was an inpatient, immersion-less girl to do??

Flexible spatula – anytime I am pan frying or sauteing, there is no tool that beats a flexible “fish” spatula. Because of it’s flexible give, it is so gentle on your food and allows you more leverage and easy maneuvering. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular spatula.

Again, these items are not necessary, but I used them in the recipe below.

Birria Tacos for Instant Pot

What is the difference between Birria Tacos and Quesabirria Tacos?

The only difference between birria tacos and quesabirria tacos is the addition of melty cheese stuffed inside of the shell of birria tacos as it’s cooking on the stove or on a flat top grill. Quesabirria is a cross between a quesadilla and a birria taco. My only question is, who DOESN’T want to add cheese to these tacos?

Authentic quesabirria tacos

Caution: Lots of details ahead!!  But don’t be alarmed. This birria tacos recipe is actually EASY but since I am listing various methods for cooking it looks intimidating. I had to look out for my crock pot and dutch oven homies too!

3 Different Cooking Methods for Birria Tacos Recipe

How to Make Birria Tacos in a Instant Pot

For this method, I will explain how to make this birria tacos recipe in an Instant Pot:

Step 1: Start with saute mode on, add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot. While still on saute mode add oil, then the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.

Step 2: Still on saute mode, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base. Add the short ribs and chuck roast back into the pot.

Step 3: Pressure cook for 60 minutes (add 15 minutes more for each additional pound of meat), then use the natural steam release. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Discard the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and short rib bones, then use an immersion blender to liquify the chunky sauce (chilies, onions, garlic, etc.). ***IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN IMMERSION BLENDER: you can use a regular blender, you will just need to let you sauce cool for at least 15 minutes so it won’t erupt from the blender.****

Step 4: Taste your sauce and add the salt, about 2-4 pinches is usually needed. Use a ladle to reserve some sauce for dipping the shells and finished tacos, set aside. Shred the meat and add it back into the Instant Pot with the remaining blended sauce. Mix to incorporate and keep warm. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high, add a splash of vegetable oil to the pan. Submerge each shell into the sauce, ensuring both sides are saturated, then place onto the hot skillet. To each shell, add enough shredded meat to cover half the taco. Then add shredded cheese on the other half. Allow to cook open-face for about two minutes undisturbed. Then flip the cheese side over onto the meat side, hold in place for a moment so the cheese can stick to the meat. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side for dipping and garnish the tacos as desired with diced onions, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

How to Make Birria Tacos in a Slow Cooker

For this method, I will explain how to make this birria tacos recipe in a slow cooker:

Step 1: Use a large pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot. Add oil and sear the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.

Step 2: Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base.

Step 3: Carefully pour this mixture into a slow cooker. Then nestle in the seared short ribs and chuck roast. If needed, add a little more liquid so it comes about half way up the height of the meat. Cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat is tender and shreds without resistance. I like to check at the ~6 hour mark to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Discard the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and short rib bones, then use an immersion blender to liquify the chunky sauce (chilies, onions, garlic, etc.). ***IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN IMMERSION BLENDER: you can use a regular blender, you will just need to let you sauce cool for at least 15 minutes so it won’t erupt from the blender.****

Step 4: Taste your sauce and add the salt, about 2-4 pinches is usually needed. Use a ladle to reserve some sauce for dipping the shells and finished tacos, set aside. Shred the meat and add it back into the crock pot with the remaining blended sauce. Mix to incorporate and keep warm. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high, add a splash of vegetable oil to the pan. Submerge each shell into the reserved sauce, ensuring both sides are saturated, then place onto the hot skillet. To each shell, add enough shredded meat to cover half the taco. Then add shredded cheese on the other half. Allow to cook open-face for about two minutes undisturbed. Then flip the cheese side over onto the meat side, hold in place for a moment so the cheese can stick to the meat. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side for dipping and garnish the tacos as desired with diced onions, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

How to Make Birria Tacos in a Dutch Oven

For this method, I will explain how to make this birria tacos recipe in a slow cooker:

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat (I use 6-7 quart). Add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot. Add oil and sear the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.

Step 2: Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base. Then nestle in the seared short ribs and chuck roast. If needed, add a little more liquid so it comes about half way up the height of the meat.

Step 3: Cover the dutch oven with a lid and carefully transfer to the pre-heated oven and cook for about 2.5-3 hours or until the meat easily shreds without resistance. I like to start checking it every 30 minutes at the 2 hour mark just to be on the safe side. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Discard the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and short rib bones, then use an immersion blender to liquify the chunky sauce (chilies, onions, garlic, etc.). ***IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN IMMERSION BLENDER: you can use a regular blender, you will just need to let you sauce cool for at least 15 minutes so it won’t erupt from the blender.***

Step 4: Taste your sauce and add the salt, about 2-4 pinches is usually needed. Use a ladle to reserve some sauce for dipping the shells and finished tacos, set aside. Shred the meat and add it back into the dutch oven with the remaining blended sauce. Mix to incorporate and keep warm. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high, add a splash of vegetable oil to the pan. Submerge each shell into the reserved sauce, ensuring both sides are saturated, then place onto the hot skillet. To each shell, add enough shredded meat to cover half the taco. Then add shredded cheese on the other half. Allow to cook open-face for about two minutes undisturbed. Then flip the cheese side over onto the meat side, hold in place for a moment so the cheese can stick to the meat. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side for dipping and garnish the tacos as desired with diced onions, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

These are the best authentic birria tacos for a quick and easy meal for you and your family!

Birria Tacos Recipe

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Did you love this Beef Birria Taco Recipe? Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback. Don’t forget to tag me on IG with any photos; @BadBatchBaking and use #BadBatchBaking

Beef Birria Sliders (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, Dutch Oven)

Super tender beef birria that's packed with out-of-this-world flavor is turned into sliders (instead of the popular birria tacos). These toasty sliders are piled high with tender shredded beef birria, covered in layers of melty cheese under the broiler. Then we add pickled red onions, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro and squeezes of lime.
Don't be alarmed by the length of these instructions. This recipe is EASY to make, there are just a few steps with browning the meat, sauteing the veggies, etc. It takes about 1.5 hours to pull together but it's very worth it!
One pro-tip is the make the beef birria a day ahead of when you wish to serve the sliders. Store the beef in the juice so it reheats together and stays tender.
**See recipe notes for detailed instructions on how to make beef birria in a slow cooker or on the stovetop.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: birria taco, latin, mexican food, tacos
Servings: 12 sliders (plus extra meat leftover)
Author: Mallory Austin

Ingredients

Birria & Consommé

  • 2.5 - 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • vegetable oil
  • 6-8 dried Guajillo peppers stems removed
  • 3 canned chipotles in adobo + all the sauce from the can
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ideally mexican oregano
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups beef stock chicken stock can also be subbed
  • salt + pepper to tenderize the meat + more for the sauce

Slider Toppings

  • 1 pack Kings Hawaiian 9-pack Sweet Sliders OR 12-pack Sweet Dinner Rolls
  • 3/4 lb. Oaxaca cheese, sliced or shredded quesadilla cheese, mozzarella, monterey jack, pepper jack, etc.
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onions raw red onions work too
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced finely
  • lime wedges

Instructions

Make The Birria (Instant Pot)

  • Liberally season all sides of your chuck roast and short ribs with salt (kosher ideal but any salt works) and pepper.
  • Start with saute mode on, add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot.
  • While still on saute mode add oil, then the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.
  • Still on saute mode, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base. Add the short ribs and chuck roast back into the pot. Add a little more stock if needed so liquid comes half way up the roast.
  • Pressure cook for 75 minutes (add 15 minutes more for each additional half pound of meat), then use the steam release. Beef is ready when it shreds with no resistence. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes then shred.
  • Strain the solids out of the sauce by placing a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Toss the solids and reserve sauce for dipping. Remove the excess fat from the sauce by tapping the surface of the sauce with a folded paper towels until it absorbs most the fat. This may take a few passes with new paper towels.
  • Taste your sauce and add the salt, about 2-4 pinches is usually needed.

Assemble Sliders

  • Turn oven to broil. Separate top and bottom slider buns, place on a pan and broil until light brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Spread an even layer of cheese on the top and bottom buns, then broil again for another minute or two until cheese starts to melt.
  • Pile the bottom buns high with shredded beef, spreading it evenly among the buns. You may have some meat left over. Optionally, top the meat with extra cheese. Return to the broiler for another few minutes until cheese is fully melted.
  • Top the sliders with chopped cilantro, pickled or raw red onions, diced jalapeno, and squeeze over a few wedges of lime. Serve these sliders warm with a side of birria consommé for dipping.

Notes

 Slow Cooker Instructions:
Step 1: Use a large pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot.
Step 2: Add oil and sear the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.
Step 3: Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base.
Step 4: Carefully pour this mixture into a slow cooker. Then nestle in the seared short ribs and chuck roast. If needed, add a little more liquid so it comes about half way up the height of the meat. Cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat is tender and shreds without resistance. I like to check at the ~6 hour mark to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes then shred.
Continue instructions above starting in Step 7. 

Stovetop Instructions
Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat (I use 6-7 quart). Add the dried chilies directly to the pot and toast them for a few minutes on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove and set aside, leaving the seeds in the pot.
Step 2: Add oil and sear the short ribs. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to sear. Rotate and repeat until all sides are seared brown. Remove and set aside, then repeat with the chuck roast, adding additional dash of oil to the pot if necessary. Remove the roast and set aside.
Step 3: Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. To the onions and garlic, add seasonings, tomato paste, and chipotles in adobo and cook until onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef stock and apple cider vinegar, and loosen up any brown bits from the meat and onions on the bottom of the pan, they will impart lots of flavor to this base. Then nestle in the seared short ribs and chuck roast. If needed, add a little more liquid so it comes about half way up the height of the meat.
Step 4: Cover the dutch oven with a lid and carefully transfer to the pre-heated oven and cook for about 2.5-3 hours or until the meat easily shreds without resistance. I like to start checking it every 30 minutes at the 2 hour mark to be on the safe side. Once it’s finished cooking, use tongs to carefully remove the meat and place into a large heat-safe bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes then shred.
Continue instructions above starting in Step 7. 
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