Because I obviously can’t get enough of easy slow cooker Mexican-style meals at the moment, I’ve got another melt-in-your-mouth tender recipe for you today: beef barbacoa. Throw a few things into your slow cooker, and hours later you’ve got the most flavorful, juicy beef for tacos, burrito bowls, burritos, nachos, etc!
After Chipotle stopped carrying their carnitas, I quickly switched to the barbacoa, and it has since become my new favorite. After making my own carnitas at home, I figured barbacoa couldn’t be much harder, so I immediately set out to do it once I found a good price on a chuck roast. Boy, is beef way more expensive than pork! But it is still cheaper than buying Chipotle. 🙂
I love that even though the recipes are fairly similar between the carnitas and barbacoa, the barbacoa really shines with the kick from a couple extra chipotle peppers, and the lime comes through a little bit more in each bite. It’s a tough call which I enjoyed more between the two!
One of my favorite parts about this recipe is the extra flavorful broth that you have left once this is done cooking. Alex liked adding extra juices to his dish to make an almost stew-like burrito bowl. I’m sure it would be awesome to make a gravy out of, or if there’s enough once all your beef is gone, you could totally save it to add into another recipe as beef broth! Yum.
Would you rather serve barbacoa as a taco, burrito bowl, or some other way? Share how you’d dish it up in the comments below.
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 3 lbs. chuck roast, excess fat trimmed, and cut into 4-inch chunks
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 bay leaves
In a small bowl, stir together the spices, and set aside.
Combine the minced garlic, chopped onion, and chopped chipotle peppers in a medium bowl.
Place the beef into the slow cooker, sprinkle with the spice mixture, and then spread the onion mixture evenly over top. Pour the lime juice, vinegar, and water over the entire mixture. Place the bay leaves on top.
Cover, and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours (you can also do this on low heat for 6-8 hours). Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks.
Pour some of the remaining juices over the beef to keep it moist, and serve immediately.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the barbacoa in freezer bags or airtight containers along with the juices.
adapted from Gimme Some Oven