Barbacoa Beef Tacos

Barbacoa Beef Tacos


3lb chuck roast

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2Tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/4cups beef broth, divided

3 – 4chipotle chilies in adobo*

6garlic cloves

1 1/2Tbsp ground cumin

1Tbsp dried oregano

1/4tsp ground cloves

3bay leaves

1/4cup fresh lime juice

Instructions :

Cut roast into 6 portions while removing any large pieces of fat. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet.

Dab roast dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt 3/4 tsp pepper).

Add 3 pieces to skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet and repeat process with remaining 3 roast pieces.

Nestle beef portions side by side in an even layer in slow cooker.

In a food processor, pulse together chipotle chilies, garlic and 1/4 cup beef broth until well pureed, occasionally stopping and scraping down sides of processor.

In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together remaining beef broth with chipotle mixture, cumin, oregano and cloves.

Pour mixture over beef in slow cooker, then nestle bay leaves between beef portions.

Cover and cook on low heat 8 – 9 hours**.

Remove beef from slow cooker (leave broth) and shred.

Stir lime juice into broth in slow cooker then return beef to slow cooker and cook on low or warm 20 – 30 minutes longer.

Strain liquid from beef and serve in tortillas with desired toppings.

Enjoy !!


Beef Selection: Chuck roast is a great choice for this recipe due to its rich flavor and tenderness when slow-cooked. However, feel free to experiment with other cuts like brisket or beef cheek for different textures and flavors.

Preparation: Searing the beef before slow-cooking helps develop a deep, caramelized flavor. This step also locks in juices, resulting in moist and flavorful meat.

Flavorful Broth: The chipotle chilies in adobo, garlic, spices, and beef broth create a robust and aromatic cooking liquid for the beef. This infusion of flavors transforms the meat into tender, spicy barbacoa.

Slow Cooking: Cooking the beef on low heat for 8-9 hours allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become incredibly tender. The long cooking time ensures a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Finishing Touches: Adding fresh lime juice to the broth after shredding the beef brightens the flavors and balances the richness of the dish.

Straining the Liquid: Straining the cooking liquid from the shredded beef helps control the consistency of the dish. You can adjust the amount of liquid based on your preference for sauciness.

Serving Suggestions: Barbacoa Beef Tacos are versatile and can be customized with a variety of toppings. Traditional garnishes like diced onions, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, and queso fresco complement the rich flavors of the beef.

Make-Ahead Option: This recipe can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving, making it perfect for meal planning or entertaining.

Adaptability: You can adapt this recipe for different cooking methods, such as using an Instant Pot or oven, based on your equipment and time constraints.

Freezing: Leftover barbacoa beef can be frozen for later use. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bags for easy meal prep.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 1 taco (including tortilla)

Calories: 260 | Total Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 390mg | Total Carbohydrates: 12g | Dietary Fiber: 1g | Sugars: 0.5g | Protein: 22g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use a different cut of beef instead of chuck roast?

While chuck roast is commonly used for barbacoa beef, you can experiment with other cuts like brisket or beef cheek for different textures and flavors.

How spicy are the chipotle chilies in adobo?

The spiciness of chipotle chilies in adobo can vary.

Start with 3-4 chilies and adjust according to your preference.

You can add more or less depending on how spicy you like your tacos.

Can I cook the beef in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Adjust the cooking time according to the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking beef.

What are some recommended toppings for Barbacoa Beef Tacos?

You can garnish your tacos with traditional toppings like diced onions, chopped cilantro, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or crumbled queso fresco.

Feel free to get creative and add your favorite toppings.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the barbacoa beef ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for a few days.

Reheat the shredded beef with the broth before serving.

This can be convenient for meal planning or hosting gatherings.

Can I cook Barbacoa Beef Tacos in the oven instead of a slow cooker?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe for the oven. After searing the beef, transfer it to a baking dish, pour the sauce over it, cover tightly with foil, and bake at a low temperature (around 275-300°F or 135-150°C) for 4-5 hours or until the beef is tender and easily shredded.

Can I use fresh chilies instead of chipotle chilies in adobo?

Chipotle chilies in adobo have a unique smoky flavor.

If you don’t have them, you can use fresh chilies, such as jalapeños or serranos, and add a bit of smokiness by adding a small amount of smoked paprika or liquid smoke.

How long should I marinate the beef before cooking?

This recipe doesn’t require marinating the beef.

The flavors develop as the beef slow-cooks in the flavorful broth and spices.

However, if you prefer, you can marinate the beef with the seasonings for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.

Can I make Barbacoa Beef Tacos using a different type of meat?

While the recipe calls for chuck roast, you can also use other cuts of beef like brisket or beef cheek.

These cuts have good marbling and are ideal for slow cooking, resulting in tender and flavorful meat for your tacos.

Can I freeze the Barbacoa Beef for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked and shredded Barbacoa Beef for later use.

Allow it to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container or freezer bags.

Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and using it for tacos.

What toppings go well with Barbacoa Beef Tacos?

Barbacoa Beef Tacos are versatile and can be served with a variety of toppings.

Some popular options include diced onions, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, crumbled queso fresco, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime juice.

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