Lamb Birria Tacos have recently become the super star of trendy taco joints from LA to Brooklyn, but did you know that birria is very easy to make at home? If you have an Instapot, you can make excellent birria and birria tacos any time you like!
Birria is traditionally made with goat or lamb
Traditionally, birria is made by slow roasting goat or lamb meat in an underground pit. Deliciously slathered in chile sauce, the meat roasts overnight until it is tender and falling away from the bone. Also, the broth or consommé that collects while the meat is roasting is valued for it’s superior flavor. Tacos de birria can include a cup of this delicious broth for dunking. Not a drop is wasted!
The Instapot is perfect for making birria
But before you make Lamb Birria Tacos, you need to make the Lamb Birria Stew. If you have an Instapot, birria is incredibly easy to make. To be totally honest, I don’t use the Instapot all that often, but was so very impressed with the birria that the Instapot produced in one hour. Stovetop birria requires contant vigilance and replenishing of the stewing liquid, not to mention the long cooking time of 4-10 hours! Thank goodness the Instapot takes only 60 minutes to make an excellent birria!
Great for pot-lucks
My suggestion would be to make your lamb birria the day before you make your Lamb Birria Tacos. The flavors are so much better on the second day. Also, if you are not a fan of lamb or goat, you can definitely make birria with beef chuck roast. Of course I always prefer bone-in meats as the resulting stew is so much more flavorful.
I think Lamb Birria Tacos are the perfect take along for a pot-luck dinner at your neighbors house. If you have an outdoor electric griddle or a barbecue pit, you can set up your own back-yard taqueria – And don’t forget to call me to join you!
Lamb Birria Tacos
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
Lamb Birria Stew:
2 lbs. boneless lamb roast (approximately 1kg)
2 lbs. bone in lamb shoulder steaks (approximately 1kg)
¼ cup vegetable or olive oil (60ml)
2 oz. chile ancho (57g)
2 oz chile guajillo (57g)
1 tbsp. vinegar (15ml)
1 tbsp. dried oregano or 1 sprig fresh (1g)
3–4 cloves garlic
½ tsp. ground cloves (1g)
2 tsp. salt (8g)
2 tsp. ground pepper (4g)
4 cups water (1lt)
2 bay leaves
2 lbs. tomatoes (1kg)
Olive or vegetable oil for brushing tomatoes (about 2 tbsp./30ml)
12 oz. beer (360ml)
Corn tortillas (about 4 dozen)
1 recipe lamb birria stew
16oz shredded cheese (500g)
3–4 radishes, minced (optional)
2–3 onions, minced
1 bunch cilantro, minced
1 recipe pico de gallo
Cut all of the lamb meat into 2”-3” chunks (5-7.5cm). Leave the bones whole. Add the vegetable oil or olive oil to the instapot and set the heat level to medium. Add the lamb chunks and allow the meat to cook until it is well browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off Instapot until the sauce is prepared.
Soften the chiles by placing them in a 2-quart (2lt) saucepan that is halfway filled with water. Bring the saucepan to a boil and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the chiles and discard the water. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and place the chiles in the container of a blender.
Add the vinegar, oregano, garlic, cloves, salt and pepper to the container of the blender and the water. Blend until smooth.
Pour the chile purée over the browned lamb chunks in an 6qt Instapot. Affix the lid and set for 60 minutes on “Pressure Cook.”
When the time is up and the pressure has released, remove the lid from the Instapot. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb meat and place on a large casserole pan. Using two forks, shred the lamb meat.
Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Heat a griddle on your stove or heat the broiler in your oven. Brush the tomatoes with olive or vegetable oil. If using a griddle, place the prepared tomatoes directly on the griddle. If using the broiler in your oven, place the prepared tomatoes in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Roast the tomatoes by placing in the broiler for 5-7 minutes.
For both methods of roasting, use metal tongs to turn the tomatoes as needed so that they roast evenly. Once the tomatoes are well roasted with several blackend spots, remove the tomatoes from the heat source and allow to cool briefly. Remove the seeds and core.
Place the prepared tomatoes in a blender with beer and puree until smooth. Add the purée to the chile flavored consommé that remained in the Instapot. Bring the consommé to a simmer for about 7 minutes so that it reduces.
To serve the Lamb Birria Stew, serve portions of the consommé combined with the shredded lamb birria stew.
To make Lamb Birria Tacos, keep the shredded birria meat separate from the birria consommé.
To make the tacos, heat corn tortillas on a hot stovetop griddle. Dip a heat proof brush into the consommé to extract some of the fat and baste onto the hot tortilla. The fat will lightly fry the tortilla and make it crispy. You may want to use double tortillas for your tacos.
Add a small amount of shredded cheese to the tortilla along with some of the shredded birria meat. Once the cheese is melted, fold the taco over. Continue to toast the taco on both sides until it is crispy and golden brown. Garnish the tacos with minced radishes, onions, cilantro and pico de gallo. Serve immediately with a cup of the birria consommé for dunking.
This recipe works for lamb, goat or beef birria. Note that I used equal portions of bone-in and boneless lamb meat, which I would recommend for goat and beef as well.