If my 8-year-old had his way, every Tuesday would be “Taco Tuesday” in our house (we can thank The Lego Movie for that one!) And while tacos might not always end up in our weekly dinner rotation in the kitchen, we do have tacos or burritos at least once a month. And a favourite in the household is flank steak tacos.
I usually make them with beef or chicken, and there are several recipes I used, from wrapped and grilled burritos to your basic ground beef-based hard-shell tacos. But on occasion, especially when I’m pressed for time, I make flank steak tacos in my Instant Pot. And I do the unthinkable: I slow cook them!
I say it’s the unthinkable because a lot of Instant Pot owners claim the small appliance does everything well but slow cooking. I beg to differ. I have tried making the steak on the high pressure setting as well, but I prefer cooking them low and slow. And this is possible with an Instant Pot.
If you’ve ever heard any Instant Pot owner refer to “dump and go” meals, this is a perfect example. The overall time from start to finish is technically all day, but this is a perfect time-saver recipe because it requires very little effort, and it’s one you can pop into the Pot before you head out for work and it’s ready when you get back home. Or, if you’re working from home, you can take a five-minute break to get it cooking without missing a beat. I can pop the meat, seasoning, and veggies into the Pot at around 10:30 or 11 a.m. and dinner is ready to go by 6:30 p.m. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is prepping the toppings, and if you’re really in a pinch, just take care of it the night before.
Before I get into the directions for this mind-blowingly simple yet totally flavourful recipe, let’s take stock of the kitchen gear you’ll need.
What to keep in mind when making flank steak tacos
Before you get started, keep these tidbits of information in mind
Always slow cook on high in the Instant Pot
While you can totally use a tried and true slow cooker for this recipe, I love my Instant Pot. And the reason so many people think the slow cooker function doesn’t work is that they don’t realize you need to slow cook on the high temperature. High slow cook on an Instant Pot is equivalent to a low slow cook setting on a standard slow cooker. The low slow cook setting on an Instant Pot is effectively the same as the Keep Warm function. If you try to cook on low, you’ll end up with undercooked and tough meat. But switch the dial to High and you’re off to the races.
Check on your cook whenever you want
Keep in mind that when the Instant Pot is on slow cooker mode, there is no pressure being built up inside which means you can twist and open the lid at any time to check on the cook, if you really want to see how it’s going. I usually set the cook time for eight hours so if I get caught up doing other things, it will continue cooking and getting super tender. But I’ll often be ready to serve after about seven hours, depending on the thickness of the cut of steak. If you want to take it out earlier, just hit cancel.
Make your own taco seasoning
While I use packaged taco seasoning to make things extra quick and simple, if you don’t have any on hand and want to avoid a trip to the store, you can make your own. Taco seasoning is essentially just chili powder with equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Don’t have any taco seasoning packets on hand? Throw these together to make your own!
I don’t include hot peppers and other spicy ingredients because my 8-year-old isn’t keen on that. But you can totally add hot peppers and other spices if you like things hot and spicy. My husband loves spices but just adds his own hot sauce at the end to get the spice level just right.
Use good quality tortillas
A taco is only as good as the tortilla that houses it. If you want a truly authentic Mexican experience, opt for corn tortillas. If you have the time and decide to experiment and make your own tortillas, you can use either wheat or corn flour. If you don’t have a tortilla press, here’s a trick for perfectly round tortillas: roll out the dough and use the lid of a saucepan as a makeshift cutter. A friend taught me this simple trick for homemade Jamaican beef patties and I have never looked back!
Adjust toppings as desired
I have provided a list of the toppings my family loves when we eat flank steak tacos, but feel free to modify, adding or eliminating ingredients as desired. You might want to add things like black beans or corn, for example. Cilantro is one of those herbs that people either love or hate, so feel free to leave it out if you fall into the latter category.
1 lb. flank steak
2 cups salsa
¼ cup taco seasoning (or about 1.5-2 packets taco seasoning mix)
Lime juice (drizzle on top)
Jalapeno peppers (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)
- Place flank steak in Instant Pot.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning on flank steak.
- Pour salsa on top.
- Slice peppers and onions and add to Pot.
- Close lid, select Slow Cook, High Temp, 8 hours, and tap Start.
- Check on cook periodically if desired but it’s not necessary.
- When you’re about 20 minutes from time to serve, prep toppings.
- Shred steak with two forks, right inside Pot.
- Heat tortillas, add steak, toppings, and serve.
Love these flank steak tacos? Check out plenty of other easy dinner ideas in our home cooking section to get inspiration for everything from pasta to curries, soups and stews. Need some new kitchen equipment to get started? Browse the Kitchen & Dining section of Best Buy online to find everything you need.