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Here’s my Cinco de Mayo recipe - shredded flank steak tacos, braised in beer.
Flank steak was a cheap cut, until sizzling platters of fajitas took off in every Tex-Mex joint in America. Normally, I don’t think about pressure cooking steaks - tender beef can’t stand up to pressure cooking.
That changed when I had a Corona braised flank steak burrito from the Wholly Frijoles food truck. Braised flank steak? It worked beautifully. The long, tough meat fibers in flank steak - that we slice across when we’re serving it grilled - are tenderized by the long, slow cooking, and shred into a fantastic taco filling. (Or burritos, of course - like in the original inspiration. Much to my shame, I've never got the hang of burrito wrapping, so I serve tacos instead.) Of course, I had to try this in my pressure cooker.
Why braise the beef in beer? It adds more flavor than water, and the acid helps cut the richness of the beef.
Corona is the classic choice for a Mexican beer braise, but…I find it wimpy for drinking. (Yes, even with a lime.) I’m not saying I would turn one down - free beer is free beer, after all - but If I buy a 6-pack of Corona, and use 1 in this recipe…the other 5 bottles are going to sit in my fridge for a long time. You can use any Ale or Pilsner in this recipe - normally, I’d go with Mexican Negra Modelo - but Great Lakes Brewery, just up the road from me in Cleveland, has a Pilsner I actually like, so I went with a bottle of that.
The only other trick to this recipe is cutting the steak into 2 inch wide strips across the grain. This helps it cook faster, and (more important) has it ready to shred into bite-sized pieces immediately after cooking. The flank steak comes out of the pressure cooker fall-apart tender, and all it takes is a minute of shredding with a fork to be ready to serve.
Video: Pressure Cooker Beer Braised Flank Steak Tacos (2:01)
Pressure Cooker Beer Braised Flank Steak Tacos - Time Lapse [YouTube.com] Print
Pressure Cooker Beer Braised Flank Steak Tacos
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Pressure Cooker Beer Braised Flank Steak Tacos. Shredded beef with peppers and onions - a great filling for taco night.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 Green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 8oz beer (the rest of the bottle is for the cook)
- 2 pounds beef flank steak, cut into rough 2 inch squares
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile powder (or a chili powder blend)
1. Saute the peppers and onions, deglaze with beer: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over saute mode until it is shimmering. (Medium heat in a stovetop PC.) Add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the pot and stir to coat with oil, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Pour the beer into the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any stuck bits of onion. Bring the beer to a boil for 1 minute to boil off some of the alcohol.
2. Slice and season the flank steak, then add to the pot: While the peppers and onions are cooking, slice the flank steak into 2 inch pieces and sprinkle with the salt and Ancho chile powder.
3. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes with a natural pressure release: Stir the beef into the pot. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric PC or 24 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
4. Shred the beef and serve: Scoop the beef and vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon. Pour the pan juices into a gravy strainer and let settle. Shred the beef with forks, then pour just enough of the defatted pan juices over it to make it wet. Serve with taco fixings and enjoy!
- This recipe will fit in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker. I love my 6 quart Instant Pot electric PC. A fat separator is also recommended.
- Serve with tortillas, pinto beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro. (Or your favorite taco toppings.)
- Don’t want to use beer? Substitute water or chicken stock, and stir in the juice from 1 lime at the end of cooking.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos (Tinga de Pollo)
Pressure Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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Awesome Job. I've been making these for years now and the family loves them. Thanks!
Mike Vrobel says
Made this for dinner tonight and it turned out wonderful! Thanks for a great recipe!
Mike Vrobel says
I have used a pressure cooker for many years and love the tender meat it renders. Did you add any liquid to the meat when you cooked it in the pressure cooker? I realize you said Instant Pot and I don't have one of those. I've always added liquid for meat. Thank you for the recipe!
Mike Vrobel says
Yes - the beer.
I made this today. The skirt steak came out flavorful and juicy and tender. The beef flaked perfectly into the best taquito filling ever. The only thing I did differently was to brown the meat before adding the aromatics and then the beer. Thanks for this awesome recipe.
Hi Mike - Thanks for the recipe. Just one question. I have an 8qt Instant Pot and have 2 3/4 lbs for flank steak. How much longer should I cook the extra 3/4 lbs? Al, Cols. OH
Mike Vrobel says
Cook it for the time listed in the recipe. The size of the pieces makes the cooking time; as long as you cut the flank steak into 2 inch squares, extra squares won't increase the cooking time.
Razzy 7 says
Sounds/looks delicious, Mike. Was just looking at a very appealing recipe on the ATK site for Drunken Beans. They reviewed some Mexican lagers and recommended in this order: Tecate, Corona Extra, Modelo Especial in this order.They did not recommend Dos Equis Lager Especial.
It is amazing how popular AND expensive flank steak became. They used to practically give it away. I think flat iron steak would work well for these tacos as well. While they're no longer giving flat iron steak away, it should be considerably less expensive than flank steak.
Mike Vrobel says
Absolutely on the Flat Iron steak - I can usually get it for $3 less a pound thank flank steak. I did Flank steak in this recipe because: 1. I need more Flank steak recipes on the blog, and 2. It is traditional.