These Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos are a mouth-watering modern-day version of the more traditional and ancient Barbacoa. Cooked in a fraction of the time that it takes to cook authentic barbacoa, this recipe is easy and delicious!
Barbacoa is traditionally a slow-cooked meal, such as Nihari and Haleem. Since this recipe takes so long to cook, it's usually made only on special occasions. But thanks to the Instant Pot, you can cook it as often as you like!
Why you'll love this recipe
- One pot recipe- You braise, cook and finish cooking everything in just one pot, just like in my Hyderabadi Khatti Daal recipe.
- Short cooking time - The Instant Pot takes a fraction of the time compared to other cooking methods and yields fantastic results when cooking beef recipes like braised beef short ribs or these Mexican shredded beef tacos.
- Fewer dishes to wash - This is definitely a perk, since all the cooking is in one pot, washing up is much easier.
- Less kitchen clean Up - Since the IP is so deep and stays covered for most of the time the meat is cooking, there are fewer splatters than with traditional cooking.
- Beef Eye Round - I use eye of round for this recipe. It's a lean and budget-friendly cut of beef that works really well for marinated and slow-cooked recipes like this one and my Pakistani beef roast with tandoori masala.
- Beef Broth - The Eye of Round doesn't have the same rich flavor that many other cuts of beef do. Adding some beef broth to it results in a richer taste.
- Yellow Onion - I like to use yellow onions for this recipe, with red onions being a good second choice.
- Serrano Chilies - I use serrano chilies for most of my recipes.
- Cooking Oil - I use avocado oil for this recipe. Some other great options are canola, sunflower, or peanut.
- Garlic paste - Homemade garlic paste, or fresh garlic cloves are essential to this recipe (read the notes in the recipe card).
- Tomato paste - Tomato paste adds tons of flavor to any meat and is a key ingredient in this recipe as well as my Roast Leg of Goat.
- Paprika - The paprika adds a delicious hint of smokiness to the meat.
- Cumin - Cumin gives this beef an authentic Mexican flavor.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Substitutes & variations
- Try an alternate cut of beef - Other good alternatives to the eye of the round are Chuck Roast, Beef Brisket, and Rump Roast.
- Use this trick to reduce cooking time -Cut the beef into 4 pieces and you will only have to cook it for 1 hour to get the desired results.
- Alternate serving options - Enjoy the beef in a lettuce wrap or turn it into a bowl with rice.
- Different cooking techniques - Cook the beef in a slow cooker or on the stovetop instead!
The recipe for this Mexican Shredded Beef is very simple, no matter which cooking method you opt for. The marinade comes together in under 10 minutes and the ingredients are simple and easy to source.
Step 1 - Heat your cooking oil and sear the meat well on all sides, using saute mode on your IP.
Step 2- Add all the remaining ingredients to your IP, cover, and cook on High Pressure for 2 hours.
Step 3 - Do a natural release and then open the pot to see if the meat shreds easily. Then turn the pot on saute mode and dry out all the liquid.
Step 4 - Stir constantly as the liquid dries to help you shred the meat. Once you have the consistency you desire, turn your IP off and serve!
- Cook the meat in 1 large piece - For best results, cook the meat in one large piece. The meat shreds better this way.
- Don't skip the tomato paste - The tomato paste adds a deep, rich, and complex taste to this recipe. Its acidity lends the perfect balance to the taste of the meat and the smoky spices, while also helping to thicken the sauce.
I usually like to serve my beef with an assortment of sauces and accompaniments. Some of my favorites are shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, pico de Gallo, and sour cream.
It's always best to shred meat while it's still hot. Since the muscle fibers are loosened, it's much easier to separate them and you get a perfect pulled-meat look.
You probably didn't cook the meat long enough and as a result, the collagen didn't break down. Cook the meat for a little longer if it's still in one piece. If the beef is already shredded, then simmer it in some broth for 5 minutes to make it slightly juicier.
Need to get the job done quickly? Use your Kitchenaid Mixer with the flat paddle attachment or a hand mixer and you'll be done in under a minute!
For best results, you can store the meat, along with the sauce, in an airtight Tupperware container in your fridge for
r 3-5 days or your freezer for up to 3 months.
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Hope you decide to try this recipe! Please don't forget to leave a rating and comment below! If you take a picture then tag me on Instagram! Thank You!
Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos
- 3 lbs eye of round roast
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 tsp garlic paste (see notes)
- 1 can tomato paste 6 oz.
- 1 can beef broth 10.5 oz
- 2 serrano chilies
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp paprika
- 3 tsp chili powder (see notes)
- Dice the onion and set it aside.
- Finely chop the serrano chili and set it aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, tomato paste, beef broth, salt, paprika, cumin and chili powder.
- Add the onion and chilies to this mixture and stir to mix.
- Turn the Instant Pot on to Saute Mode and heat the olive oil. (see notes for stovetop and slow cooker instructions)
- Once the oil is hot, brown the beef well on all four sides. (see notes)
- Once the meat is browned, turn off saute mode, add in the marinade, seal the lid, and cook on High Pressure for 2 Hours if your beef is in 1 big piece or for 1 hour if you decide to cut it into smaller pieces.
- Do a natural release once the cooking time is up, uncover the Instant pot, and turn it on saute mode to dry all the excess liquid.
- As the liquid dries, break up the meat into shreds with the help of a fork.
- Once the liquid is dry your meat is ready to enjoy!