1block or bagmelting cheese (Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese)grated
1white onionfinely chopped
1limecut into wedges
Making the Birria sauce:
Prepare the dried chilies by removing the seeds and stems.
Toast the chilies in your instant pot. First, place all the chiles into the pressure cooker (don’t add oil yet). Next, on the Instant Pot, press the “saute” button until it reads “saute more.” Saute the chiles for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Gently dump the peppers onto a plate. You’ll know they’re ready when you smell the rich aroma. Place the metal pot back into the Instant Pot.
Sear the meat in your Instant Pot: Make sure your instant pot is still on saute and reads “HOT.” Using a paper towel, pat any excess moisture off your meat. Season one side of the beef with salt & black pepper. Pour 1 tbsp of vegetable into the instant pot, making sure to cover the whole bottom of the pot. Next, place your meat gently into the instant pot. You may get hit with a few pieces of popping oil. Brown this side of the meat for 5 minutes. Then turn the meat over and brown the other side for 5 more minutes. Lastly, take the birria meat out of the instant pot and set it aside to rest.
Saute the garlic and onions: Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to the still-hot instant pot. Drop your sliced onions and full cloves of garlic into the pot and sauté for 4 minutes.
Add the following spices to the onions and garlic: 2 bay leaves, 2 tsp tomato paste, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano, 1½ tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander. Saute these spices with the onions and stir for 1 minute.
Deglaze your Instant Pot using broth: Next, pour 1 cup of your unsalted chicken or beef stock into the Instant Pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown crusted bits off the bottom and sides.
Add the rest of the ingredients & meat: Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional), 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional), and the 2nd cup of chicken stock. Mix this all together. Next, add the toasted chiles that you made earlier. Make sure the liquid is fully covering the chiles. Place the browned meat on top of the sauce.
Cook the Birria: Put the lid on your Instant Pot, and make sure the vent position is set to “closed.” Set the cooking time for 42 minutes. This is a good default time for all types of meats.
Bled the Birria sauce: Look for the bay leaves in the instant pot mixture and remove them. (This took me a good 3 minutes…) *Note: Keep the chiles in the Instant Pot (don’t discard any). Using an immersion hand blender, blend all the ingredients left in the Instant Pot. This includes the chiles. It will take 2 or 3 minutes to blend everything sufficiently. Next, add the meat back into the birria sauce and stir until the consommé is well mixed.
Shred the meat & add back to sauce: Using tongs, transfer the cooked beef into a large mixing bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. It should come apart easily. Alternatively, you can use a Cuisinart Mixer to quickly shred the meat. Put the meat in the Cuisinart and pulse the meat 5 or 6 times. Don’t over pulse. If you overmix, you’ll end up with a meat paste. You want chunks of shredded beef. Add the meat back to the birria sauce.
Making the Birria Tacos:
Heat your skillet: Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Drench the tortilla in birria: Using tongs, drop the corn or flour tortilla on top of the Instant Pot birria sauce mixture. Push it down a bit with tongs but be careful not to poke a hole or rip the tortilla. Flip the tortilla over and coat the other side in the mixture. You want your tortilla to be completely covered in sauce. Using your tongs, place the tortilla in the hot skillet.
Add cheese: Put a handful of grated cheese on the tortilla, and let it melt. The cheese will melt very quickly.
Add meat: Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop up 1/4 cup of birria mixture and empty it onto the melted cheese.
Fry the tortilla: Using tongs, carefully bend the tortilla in half so that it looks like a taco. Let this side cook for 1 minute. Next, carefully flip the taco onto the other side to let that side crisp up for a minute or so. The taco should be crisp enough to hold its shape. Remove the taco and place it on a dry paper towel to soak up some leftover oil. Repeat this process until you have all the birria tacos you could possibly want!