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5 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Beef Short Rib Barbacoa

These short ribs will melt in your mouth! They are sweet, smokey, salty, and packed with tons of spices. They are great served over rice, or shredded in tacos.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Heat & Release Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Author: Brianna May


  • instant pot


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs bone in
  • 1 sweet onion sliced*
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • ½ heaping teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons worcestershire
  • 1 lime juiced


Let's get prepping!

  • Start by slicing all of the vegetables. See recipe notes about slicing the onion. Mince the garlic roughly (some larger chunks are totally okay). Diced peppers finely.
  • Combine all of the spices in a bowl, and mix together well.

Let's get cooking!

  • Turn the instant pot to Sauté mode, and the olive oil. Let it heat until it shimmers. Add the short ribs. Brown them for about 1 minute per side.
  • Add the onions, and garlic. Let them cook for a couple of minutes. Pour the spice mixture over the ribs, and vegetables.
  • Pour in the broth, honey, soy sauce, worcestershire, and the peppers in the adobo sauce.
  • Switch the instant pot to Meat/Stew mode, and adjust the timer to 45 minutes. The pot will read "ON", while it increases pressure. Once it reaches the correct pressure, it will show the timer.
  • After 45 minutes, turn off the pot. Allow it to natural release for 15 minutes, and then turn the knob to venting to release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the ribs from the liquid, and pour the lime juice over them.


*I like to slice the onions in larger pieces because they will hold up better. If you want the flavor, but not as large of pieces, slice them thinly. 
*You can find a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce on the international aisle at the grocery. It is typically about 7 ounces. Removed 3-4 peppers, and drain the rest of the sauce out of the can. You will add all of this sauce in step 3.
*Smoked paprika adds a (you guessed it) smokey flavor. Plain paprika does not add the same taste. I highly recommend the smoked version.