Here’s another reason I love my electric pressure cooker. On a busy weeknight, with the kids pulling me in different directions4, I can make an elaborate dinner – shredded beef tacos with dried chile pepper sauce. All I need is ten minutes to prep the onion and peppers; after everything is in the pot, with the lid locked, I can spend the next hour doing kid taxi service around the greater Akron area. When I get home I have tender, easily shreddable meat; I whizz the contents of the pot in the blender, and I have a thick, rich, authentic Mexican pepper sauce.5 Boring taco night? Not if I can help it.
Now, there are two ingredients that will make you say “Mexican? Really?”. Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce add umami, and that adds body to the sauce. You won’t notice them with all the peppers; they blend in to the background, acting as supporting players to the strong Mexican flavors in the lead roles.6
No pressure cooker? No worries. See the Notes section for stovetop instructions.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Boneless Beef Short Rib Tacos with Dried Chile Pepper Sauce
Inspired by: Braised Short Ribs by Rick Bayless
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot electric PC)
- Fat separator (optional, but helps degrease the sauce)
Pressure Cooker Boneless Beef Short Rib Tacos recipe – tender, shredded beef in a spicy chile sauce.
- 3 pound boneless beef short ribs or beef chuck roast cut into 1 inch strips
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and rinsed
- 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and rinsed (or 2 more ancho chiles)
- 1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed, seeded, and rinsed or 1 canned chipotle en adobo
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup beer (preferably Negra Modelo) or water
- Stem and seed the peppers: Use kitchen scissors to cut the stems off of the dried peppers, then cut along one side of the pepper to open it up, and shake out the seeds. Rinse the peppers.
- Fill the pressure cooker: Sprinkle the short ribs with the kosher salt, then stack them loosely in the pressure cooker. Top with the onions, garlic, and peppers, then pour in the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the beer.
- Pressure cook the short ribs: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any pressure left in the pot.
- Make the sauce and shred the beef: Remove the beef from the pressure cooker with tongs and a slotted spoon, and set aside. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a fat separator. Put the solids in the strainer – the peppers, onions, and garlic – in the blender. While the liquid in the fat separator settles, shred the beef. Pour the defatted liquid into the blender, start the blender on low, slowly turn it up to highest speed, and blend for 1 minute, or until the sauce is completely smooth. Toss the sauce with the shredded beef, taste, and add salt if needed. (I usually add another teaspoon of salt to the beef and sauce while I’m tossing it and tasting.)
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Put the everything in a dutch oven with a heavy lid, use the entire bottle of beer, and bring to a simmer on the stove top. Cover with the lid, move to a 350°F oven, and bake for 4 hours, or until the short ribs are is falling apart tender. Continue with “make the sauce and shred the beef.
- No dried peppers? Sprinkle the beef with 1/4 cup of chili powder, and skip the blending step at the end. It won’t taste as good, but it will be ready a lot quicker.
- Serve with tortillas, cheese, salsa, hot sauce, shredded lettuce…whatever your favorite taco night toppings are.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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