Fireside Taco Night

“You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco”

Well, we have dodged a major bullet of a hurricane, Irma has spared us and now we are keeping an eye on José, but for the moment we have some fabulous fall temperatures cool enough for a simple outdoor fireside dinner, shredded Mexican beef tacos prepared in that lovely Instant Pot which takes about an hour or so after browning the meat and adding simple seasonings and ingredients.  I love taco anything, casseroles, lasagna, crispy and soft tacos, anything and I’m even game for trying taco dogs!

The beef took about 75 minutes in the Instant Pot including the time to come up to pressure and then the natural release method, I didn’t hear the timer go off so it had about ten minutes on the keep warm setting, but not necessary.  There was a lot of sauce in the pot and after removing the meat, I set aside about 2 cups of strained solids to toss into the beef once shredded.  I also saved the remaining pot sauce for our next pot of chili.  I have enough beef for 6 people or I can package and freeze some for another taco night.  Great for a taco party!

2.5 pounds beef chuck shoulder, seasoned with salt and pepper, browned on both sides
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for browning the meat
1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced
4 cloves of smashed garlic
2 large bay leaves
One 12 ounce box crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon paprika
pinches of cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/2 tablespoon Mexican or other chile powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
additional salt and pepper to taste

warm soft corn tortillas

Brown the beef in the instant pot, add garlic and onions, stir in and around the beef.  Add the rest of the ingredients and spices.  Lock the Instant Pot lid and turn vent to sealing, manually set to high pressure for 75 minutes.   Allow  the pressure cooker to release pressure naturally.  When finished, remove the meat to a platter and shred with two forks.  Scoop out some of the thick solids (about 1+1/2 cups or so) allow to drain, add to beef and toss.  Save the remaining sauce for a pot of chili.

Serve with your favorite taco garnish toppers, for me a simple homemade salsa and guacamole, angel hair shredded cabbage for a bit of crunch and thinly sliced jalapenos.

Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos