Tender pieces of chopped seasoned beef served on a mini tortilla shell with homemade pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco on top. It can be served as a meal or an appetizer for guests. Cooked and tender in the Instant Pot in just 15 minutes!
I love street tacos, but rarely find a taco truck nearby that I can trust for a good and tasty taco.
I decided it was time to find a quick and easy way to prepare them at home and using my trusty Instant Pot no less!
I was afraid the beef was going to turn out too tender. (Is there such a thing?)
It can turn to shredded beef if cooked too long. I did not want shredded like slow-cooked barbacoa beef tacos. (Which is also really tasty if I do say so.)
Street-style beef is chopped into fine pieces but isn’t chewy. I knew it could be done in an Instant Pot!
What are Street Tacos?
Street tacos in the US have actually been around since the early 1900s when tacos first came to the LA area. However, they were not the traditional and authentic taco from Mexico. The street tacos in LA back in the day were seen as low-class street food.
Flash forward to today and there is a trend of street tacos popping up in Mexican cuisine food trucks everywhere.
There are many versions of street tacos, but typically you will find grilled pieces of beef, chicken, or fish on a mini taco shell served with fresh onions and tomatoes on top. They may have some cheese or hot sauce accompanying it as well. The idea is that they’re small, like an appetizer, and you eat them on the go. They typically give you 2-3 tacos when you order them.
If street tacos have grilled meat, why are you using an Instant Pot?
Yes, street tacos are traditionally filled with grilled meat, but I wanted to take the work out of grilling (especially if it’s cold where you’re at right now) and simplify our busy lives by throwing it all into one pot and not having to watch it as it cooks.
That’s the beauty of the Instant Pot! It’s a one-pot meal and you don’t even have to stir it as it cooks.
Plus, the meat turns out so tender!
What you need for the marinade:
- Beef broth
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Black Pepper
The ideal way to prepare the meat is to let it marinate in the broth and seasonings for at least an hour prior to cooking.
Obviously, we don’t all have time to plan ahead in the week if we’re busy and come home from work. I’m often thawing beef just before dinner, let alone having time to marinate it.
Not to worry if you do not have time — the Instant Pot will help by pressure cooking the seasoning into the beef.
Set your Instant Pot
Set your Instant Pot by closing the lid, close the vent on top, and then using these settings:
- Select Meat/Stew
- Adjust the temperature to “More” or the highest setting
- Set your timer to 15 minutes
After it has cooked for 15 minutes do not natural release the pressure. Carefully, with an oven mitt, turn the vent switch so that it opens it and quickly releases. I did this so that it stopped cooking and did not get the beef to the point of being shredded beef. (Remember, we’re wanting tiny chopped pieces.)
How do you make pico de gallo?
While it cooked I made homemade pico de gallo. It’s pretty easy and everyone liked it on their beef tacos.
What you need to make homemade pico de gallo:
- Roma Tomatoes
- Fresh Cilantro
- Lime Juice
That’s really it. No cooking involved. It’s so fresh and tasty!
I’ve had street tacos served in flour tacos mostly, but the Mission brand sells both flour and corn street tacos in the grocery store.
I bought both and the corn tortillas are more fragile than the flour. They kept breaking on us as we picked them up so we stuck with the flour tortilla shells.
I’m sure homemade tortilla shells are the best and won’t break apart on you. Perhaps that’s another recipe for the future!