Cole Cooks: Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef


Mexican Shredded Beef is a staple filling for tacos and burritos.  The restaurant chain Chipotle took this style of beef to the masses under the name Barbacoa.  This is our recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef.

Go To Recipe 

We first came across the term Barbacoa in our Sunset Mexican Cookbook dated 1991.  This was long before we ate at Chipotle, which was founded in 1993.  Our recipe, which evolved from the Sunset cookbook is based more on the recipe for Enchiladas de Ropas Viejas.

Ropas Viejas is Spanish for old clothes and more of a Cuban dish.  Meanwhile, Barbacoa is Spanish for barbecue.  So, we have settled on Mexican Shredded Beef.  This is how most Mexican restaurants in the San Diego area refer to this filling.

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

With the Instant Pot, this is an incredibly easy dish to make.  You simply brown the roast.  Add the ingredients and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes and allow to natural release. As always I add about 40 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up and then release pressure.

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
It is pretty much just brown the roast, throw in the ingredients and let cook at high pressure

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

The spice level on this dish is on the moderate side.  You can add more chili powder to increase the heat.  You can also substitute a can (or two) of diced jalapenos for the green chilis.  I like to use our homemade chili powder made from dried chilis.

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

Cole Cooks: Homemade Chili Powder

We use this recipe in many dishes.  A 2-pound roast should provide enough filling for 8 burritos, 20 tacos or 30 tamales.

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
The meat should be falling apart and easy to shred
Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
Make sure and remove the bay leaves
Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
Letting the meat simmer in the sauce some additional time after shredding lets the flavors absorb

Of course, making tacos and burritos are easy.  If you want to make tamales using our Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef be sure and check out our full guide.

Cole Cooks: Guide to Instant Pot Tamales

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

This version of Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef is similar to the Barbacoa beef found at the Chipotle chain.  It is a common filling for burritos, tacos, tamales and other Mexican dishes 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 burritos
Author Dad Cole


  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 4 ounce cans diced green chilis can substitute diced jalapenos for extra spice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a skillet or Instant Pot. Add roast and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow to natural release.
  3. Remove meat to plate and shred with two forks. Remove bay leaves and add meat back to the sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve or refrigerate for later use.


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