A Delicious and Easy Instant Pot Beef Birria Recipe

Like every family, when it comes down to figuring out what we will have for dinner, I often have a few easy dishes I usually make that the whole family will enjoy. One of those dishes is birria.

This is not a traditional birria recipe, and I do not make the consommé from scratch because, being a mother of a 4-year-old, I would rather spend quality time with her than in the kitchen, which is why I like this recipe.

Another reason I love this recipe is that it allows my daughter to connect with my culture since I am originally from Mexico. This is why I try to cook Mexican dishes for dinner so my daughter can grow up with the flavors of my childhood. My husband, who is American, and his family also love this easy beef birria recipe.

What is Birria?

Birria is a slow-cooked meat stew that originated in the state of Jalisco. It is traditionally cooked for 2 to 3 hours in an outdoor fire-pit. There are many styles of birria, and the most popular throughout Mexico is made with goat meat. As birria spread throughout Mexico and the United States, recipes changed to include local flavors and ingredients.

According to an Article in the Food Network Kitchen, Guadalupe Zarate, a woman that set up a birria stand in Tijuana, began using beef instead of goat meat because goat meat was more expensive in Tijuana. She also started adding more liquid to the stew. Which is how Tijuana-style beef birria was born.

In the last decade, fried birria tacos dunked in the consommé that the meat is braised in have become popular. Also popular are quesabirrias, red tacos filled with birria meat, and stained red from consommé, with melted cheese. 


Level: EasyPrep: 45 minutesCook time: 1 hour 45minutesTotal Time: 2:30 hours


Instant Pot: If you do not have one, I highly recommend this instant pot. It is my go-to kitchen accessory. I love it because I can either slow or pressure cook, sauté, and many other things.


  • 3 lbs. of beef (I use chuck roast)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ of yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano (I usually purchase the Mexican brand that they have in the Mexican food isle at Albertsons, Walmart, or a grocery store near you)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pound beef chuck roast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons of beef stock (I use Better than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base)
  • 28 oz Can Las Palmas Sauce Enchilada mild can (I use the mild sauce because my daughter does not like spicy food, but it gives it a great flavor. If you would like it more spicy, the medium and hot sauces are also an option.)


Saute Meat for Birria in Instant Pot
  • Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot. Add One tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ of onion finely diced to the hot Instant pot. Sauté the onion for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add enough Enchilada sauce to the instant pot to cover about one inch of the bottom of the Instant Pot, and mix it for about a minute with the garlic and onion.
  • Mix cumin, oregano, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl, and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Massage it to the meat. Sauté the beef in the Instant Pot on medium-high heat for five minutes on each side.
  • Afterward, add the rest of the Enchilada sauce to the Instant Pot.
  • Then add 2 cups water and mix in the beef stock.
  • Cover and set the lid to “Sealing.” Pressure cook on “Manual” for 45 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  • Shred the beef (optional). Carefully remove the lid once all of the pressure has been released. You can leave the meat in larger chunks for serving or use two forks to shred the meat.
  • Season the birria to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Now you can go ahead and serve. 
Shredded Birria Meat with forks after cooking

How to Eat Birria?

What I like about this dish is that there are many ways to eat birria, and by making 3 lbs. of meat, you can make many different dishes for a few other dinner or breakfast ideas. Here are a few of my family’s favorite ways to eat birria:

  • Birria Bowls: We like to eat it like soup with broth and beef served in a bowl. We like adding sliced avocado, queso fresco, chopped cilantro, onion, or any of your favorite toppings, with a side of warm tortillas.
  • Birria Tacos: We like the Tijuana Beef Birria tacos. For these tacos, we use corn street tacos tortillas that we dip quickly into the broth and oil. Then, we heat the tortillas in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil on each side till they are still pliable enough to make a taco but not crispy enough to be considered a tostada.

Recommended toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced white or red onion, avocado, lime wedges, and/or sliced jalapeños, sour cream, and queso fresco.

  • Quesabirrias: Dip corn tortillas quickly into the broth and fill with the meat and cheese (the best cheese to use is queso Oaxaca, but mozzarella will do). Then fry the quesadilla to your desired crispiness.

Other options are Chilaquiles, Burritos, etc. The possibilities are endless, which is why this is one of my go-to dishes because it is delicious, quick, and easy and gives me options for a few other dinner and breakfast ideas.

I hope your family enjoys this birria recipe as much as my family does, and if you would like more tips for parenting, traveling, and recipes check out our other blogs below: