These Instant Pot Beef Tacos are topped with a slightly spicy, citrusy avocado salsa – the perfect compliment to the tender shredded beef.
Tacos are a nearly perfect food. The filling-to-wrap ratio is excellent, they are versatile and universally loved, and they are delicious.
The tacos I remember from childhood are a lot different than the tacos I enjoy today. Does anyone else remember the “taco kits” with a seasoning packet and some hard corn shells? They were always made with ground beef and we always had the same toppings: shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and sour cream.
Of course, the first tacos were nothing like the crunchy-shelled foods from those kits.
The name “taco” is actually shortened from “tacos de minero” or, “miner’s tacos”. They are named after the small explosive charges that miners used to excavate silver ore. Can you guess what those miners ate for lunch?
As is the case with many foods traditionally enjoyed by working class people, tacos have historically been undervalued and seen as “cheap”. While many tacos are inexpensive, Mexican restaurants and taquerías are often using top-quality ingredients and put a lot of thought and care into their preparation. Thankfully, these wonderful handheld foods are starting to get the credit they are due.
The Instant Pot isn’t a major player in any taquerías, but I used it to make quicker work of preparing shredded beef. It is important to let the pressure release naturally in this recipe — it will lead to more tender and shreddable beef! If you prefer a slow-cooker, place all of the ingredients over low heat for 8 hours.
Rather than using those taco kits, I make my own spice blend and used freshly made blue corn tortillas from Hot Bread Kitchen. I like the earthiness of the blue corn, but it’s not necessary for the recipe.
Instant Pot Beef Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Make these shredded beef tacos for your next weeknight meal!
- 3 lb eye round roast fat trimmed and cut into thirds
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 16 Corn tortillas
- Olive oil
- 3 parts chili powder
- 1 part cumin
- 1 part coriander
- 1 part salt
- 1 part pepper
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1-2 jalapenos finely chopped
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 handful cilantro finely chopped
- 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
Turn on the Instant Pot’s “Saute” feature. While it is preheating, pat the beef dry with paper towels, then sprinkle generously with 1-2 tablespoons of the spice mix. Coat the pieces of beef on all sides with the spices.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Instant Pot. Sear the beef 3-4 minutes per side on all sides, until the beef has a deep brown color. Remove the beef from the inner pot.
Add the stock and garlic to the inner pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
Return the beef to the inner pot. Press the “Manual” setting, using high pressure. Set the timer to 60 minutes.
While the beef is cooking, prep your avocado salsa (see below.)
Allow the pressure to release naturally. Then, remove the beef from the pot. Leaving the remaining juices in the pot, turn on the “Saute” feature to reduce the liquid by half.
Shred the beef with two forks, then return to the reduced cooking liquid, and press the “Keep warm” button until you are ready to serve.
In a small bowl, stir together the diced shallot and the juice of 1 lime.
Cut the avocado in half, carefully removing the pit. Use a spoon to remove the skin, then carefully dice the avocado. Add the avocado to the shallot/lime juice and stir to coat.
Add the jalapeños to the bowl. (If you like spicier foods, leave in the seeds)
Add the cilantro as well as a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to coat and set aside.
Assemble the tacos:
In a dry pan, slightly warm the tortillas to make them more pliable.
Being careful not to overfill, add the beef and avocado salsa to each warmed tortilla. Enjoy immediately.