Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Beef Brisket 

It is a really odd season to be in. This is the Deepavali/Diwali weekend, Halloween candy is in the stores and Christmas lights have come out on Orchard Road already. This is a true clash of cultures that is so common in Singapore – it seems sometimes that we do nothing but celebrate festivals the whole year through. Although I could have done Indian food this weekend in honor of Deepavali, I wasn’t quite feeling in the mood for curry. 

Kid#2 has been rebelling against my latest food choices. For the past few weeks we have been eating almost exclusively Chinese food inside and outside the home and she wanted a change of scene. I was a little surprised because kid#2 isn’t the picky one, but I guess that there is only so much 腐皮卷 that one can eat for weeks in a row! 

Anyway I decided to shake things up a bit and try a spicy pulled beef recipe in the Instant Pot. My non-pork eating husband has made it difficult for me to make  pork dishes when he is in for dinner, which ruled out pulled pork sandwiches. I’ve missed eating Mexican for a while, which is why I decided to make a Mexican pulled beef brisket for dinner. This recipe can be done in a slow cooker, which would probably take 8 hours to break down the connective tissue that gives the melty textures. But the Instant Pot cuts this way down to about 1 – 2 hours, and with no compromise on flavours as well. In the end, we all couldn’t finish the pulled beef – but I’m still pretty happy because this would make a great filling for wraps or on top of a salad for my packed lunches for the rest of the week. 😁

Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Beef Brisket

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 1.5 kg beef brisket, cut into big chunks
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (400g)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken or beef stock
  • 1 can chipotle chillis in adobo sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeños 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning and to taste
  • 2 tbsp sugar substitute 


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Put the Instant Pot into sauté mode.
  3. Heat up the olive oil, then sear the beef in batches. Set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and onions as well as the spices – ground chili powder, ground coriander and ground cumin – and sauté till spices are fragrant.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar and sauté further till the vinegar has evaporated.
  6. Add the beef back into the pot, and add in the chicken stock, canned diced tomatoes, chipotle chillis, jalapeño peppers, sugar substitute and bay leaves. Stir the mixture through carefully and make sure the beef pieces are fully submerged.
  7. Turn off the sauté mode and close the lid of the pot, turning the valve to sealed position.
  8. Put on manual high pressure for 50 minutes. Do natural pressure release.
  9. Open the pot and skim off the layer of oil. 
  10. Remove the beef pieces into a large bowl, and shred the pieces with a fork and spoon. Discard the bay leaves.
  11. In the mean time, put the pot back into sauté mode and reduce the remaining gravy by half.
  12. Add the shredded beef back into the pot and just heat through. Serve in low carb buns (I recommend Swedish breakfast buns from Low Carb Reviews) with a side of coleslaw.


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