What is a summer party or Cinco de Mayo without a great street taco recipe?
This recipe and either an instant pot or a crockpot (just follow the directions below then pop into a crock pot on high for the day then switch to low after shredding) will transform a chuck roast from a standard meat and potatoes meal to a fiesta of flavor.
I watch for chuck roasts to go on sale and keep them in the freezer ready to defrost for a quick family supper or dinner party with friends.
I purchase my chili powder and ground cumin at Pendery’s. Fresh high-quality spices are important in any style of cooking but especially when it comes to Mexican flavors. I purchase spices in smaller quantities and store them in glass jars from IKEA.
- 4-5 pound chuck roast
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 baseball sized white onion, chopped
- 8 cloves finely minced garlic or 2 T pre-minced garlic
- 2 T Chili Powder – your favorite blend
- 1 T Cayenne (less if you prefer less “heat”, paired with cheese and sour cream the spice is not overwhelming)
- 1-2 T ground cumin (to taste)
- 1 28-ounce can of tomatoes (fire-roasted is my favorite)
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 5 bay leaves
For the tacos
- Super Soft Corn Tortillas
- Small white onion, diced
- Cilantro, rinsed and chopped
- Lime, cut into wedges
- Feta cheese
- Prepared salsa – either green or red
- Crema Mexicana (a thin but rich Mexican sour cream) or Sour Cream
- Optional: Cole Slaw – your favorite recipe
- Salt and pepper the pot roast generously.
- For maximum flavor, heat 2 T of olive oil and sear roast on every side in your instant pot set to saute mode. Alternatively, sear your roast in a large skillet. (It may be Instant Pot heresy but I prefer to sear my roast in my largest skillet.)
- Remove roast from pan, add another splash of olive oil if the pan is dry and add chopped onions. When the onions are translucent and starting to show a little color add garlic and saute for one minute. Add stock and scrape the bottom of the pan (deglaze). Pour onion, garlic, stock into the instant pot and gently add the pot roast.
- Using the meat setting, make sure the valve is shut and set the Instant Pot timer to 70 minutes. When the time is complete, wait 10 minutes and do a quick release. Leave the house and miss that? Slow release is just fine.
- Lift the lid, fish out the bay leaves and shred roast with two forks. Taste for salt. If roast isn’t super-tender pop the lid back on the instant pot and cook on the meat cycle for another 15 minutes.
- For dinner parties, sometimes I’ll prepare the meat in advance and let it chill in the fridge for 24 hours. Right before serving time, I’ll pop the beef back into the instant pot and run a 5-minute cycle while I’m assembling my taco ingredients. The roast is piping hot for guests without stress.
I like the super soft corn tortillas because heating them briefly in the microwave is all the preparation they need to be ready for taco construction.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a magical tortilla microwave pouch from a neighborhood kid selling products from a “random stuff” catalog for a school fundraiser. I have to see that purchase has proved to be one of the most functional things I’ve purchased from anyone selling door to door. You can see a similar pouch on Amazon.
Order of Events
- Heat tortillas
- Add pot roast – tongs are handy
- Add crema or sour cream
- Top with cilantro, onion, and salsa
- Add optional cole slaw
- Finish with a squeeze of lime
Enjoy with your favorite iced tea or tequila based beverage.