Trying to put together a quality home-cooked meal while balancing all of life’s other tasks can be a total pressure cooker. They say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I have a better idea, get yourself out of the pressure cooker and get your meal into it! And while we’re at it, let’s make that an Instant Pot!

These programmable pressure cookers can get that meal to your table ten times faster than the usual route! My fella recently purchased one and has been making me fall in love all over again with dishes like homemade enchiladas and ginger chicken and rice.

Seeing how skilled he was, I showed him the lovely bottle of Bordeaux I had to sample as our Wine Wednesday pick. What could he make as a pairing that I could also share as an Instapot recipe? His answer? Beef Barbacoa.

Barbacoa traditionally refers to a Caribbean technique of slow “barbequing” meat over steam. Today this has translated to numerous slow-cooker recipes with various ethnic influences. These recipes can take from anywhere from 4 to 9 hours of cooking. With our Instant Pot, my handsome guy had us down to 15 minutes of prep, an hour of cooking, 15 minutes of post-production, and then endless amounts of joy! He did a Mexican flavor with a secret ingredient that shocked even me!

For the next game day, you can have a meal ready for your guests (or just you) in an hour and a half. Line up various taco toppings for a fun and festive get-together!

I promise you’ll fall in love too!

Beef Barbacoa Recipe


  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 3 lbs beef chuck
  • 1 cup onion
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 jalapeno (two if you feel like you need a little more kick)
  • 1 bottle of IPA (or another beer will do just fine)
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican Coca-Cola (Here is the secret ingredient! As a non-soda drinker, I was a little appalled by this addition. But, he insisted on adding this secret ingredient. If you can find the Mexican variety, it is “healthier” than the US version.
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Juice from 2 limes


  1. Season beef with salt and pepper and a little of the cumin and ground cloves.
  2. Turn Instant Pot to saute mode.
  3. Cover the bottom with olive oil.
  4. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
  5. Sprinkle in the remaining spices (cumin, ground cloves, bay leaves, cayenne pepper).
  6. Toss in the beef and stir until browned.
  7. Add apple cider vinegar and IPA beer, give everything a good hearty stir.
  8. Pour in that naughty Coca-Cola!
  9. Keep on stirring!
  10. Squeeze in those limes and plop in the cinnamon sticks.
  11. Next, in goes the beef broth!
  12. Now you are ready to set it and forget it! (Not for that long though!) Set the Instant Pot for one hour and ten minutes on manual pressure cook mode.
  13. The Instant Pot will alert you when it is done. Turn off. DO NOT TOUCH IT FOR TEN MINUTES!!! Or you can let the pressure out manually.
  14. Once you know all of the pressure is released, you can open it.
  15. Take out the beef and shred it, put it back into the pot with the juices.
  16. Salt to your liking.
  17. Time to get your taco on! Do it up however you like – sour cream, cilantro, avocado, pickled onions! We like to put out a bunch of options and let the crowd choose for themselves.