Although they’ve been around forever, one of the top food trends of today are Birria tacos (also known as Quesabirria since it combines elements of a quesadilla with a taco). Traditionally made with goat and an all-day simmering event, we are going to use beef (one of three cuts) and do this in a fraction of the time with under 10 ingredients. The flavor will be just as spectacular. If you love my pozole rojo, you’ll love this!
Choose One Meat
- 6-8 pounds bone-in short ribs
- 5-6 pounds beef brisket (point cut preferably), cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 (3-5) pound chuck roast, cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt OR adobo (any flavor), plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons salted butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch strips
- 12 cloves garlic, halved
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 4 ounces dried ancho or guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
- Corn tortillas (taco-sized)
Optional Touches (see Jeff’s Tips):
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour Cream
- Finely diced red, yellow or white onion
- On a large plate, mix together the chili powder, cumin and seasoned salt/adobo. Coat the meat in the seasoning.
- Add the butter or olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, flash-sear the meat for about 45 seconds on each side. Remove to a plate when done.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes, until slightly softened and the garlic is lightly browned.
- Add the broth and oregano and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot, getting up any browned bits. Return the meat to the pot and top with the chiles. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for the following times, depending on which meat you chose:
•Short Ribs: 45 minutes with a 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release
•Brisket: 65 minutes with a 20-minute natural release followed by a quick release
•Chuck Roast: 60 minutes with a 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release
- When done, use tongs to transfer the chiles into a food processor or blender and place the meat and onions in a large bowl (a slotted spoon will help with this). (NOTE: if you used short ribs, remove the meat from the bones – they’ll slide right out). Shred the meat with two forks or a hand mixer.
- Ladle 1 cup of the consommé to a large bowl and set aside.
- Ladle 1 more cup of the consommé to the food processor and blend until puréed. Rest a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the chile purée into it, pressing down with a mixing spoon so all the chile skin is caught as the purée strains into the bowl. Taste the purée and add some more seasoned salt or adobo to taste, if desired. Discard the skins and pour the strained chile purée over the shredded meat. Mix to coat.
- Place a nonstick pan on the stove and turn to medium-high heat. Dip the corn tortillas into the bowl with the cup of reserved consommé (NOTE: You can dip about 2-4 at a time depending on how large your pan is). The more saturated the tortillas are in those juices, the better they’ll taste. Place in the pan and top with some of the shredded meat and any optional toppings such as cheese, diced onion and cilantro. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the tortilla begins to feel slightly crispy. Using a spatula, fold the tortillas into into a classic crescent shape and cook for 30-60 seconds on each side until the tortilla is crisped and golden-brown (watch it so it doesn’t burn). You now have a taco!
- Serve with any optional toppings of your choice and dip in additional broth while enjoying.
This recipe is designed specifically for corn tortillas. Flour tortillas won’t cook or crisp the same way as the corn will when soaked in the Birria consommé and pan-fried.
Although the crispy, greasy taco shells are what make these tacos so special, you can save time and skip Steps 6, 8 and 9 if you want to just use soft corn/flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells instead!