Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos (Chipotle Copycat)

04.24.2015

The Best Barbacoa Beef! This meat is deliciously seasoned and perfectly tender since it’s slow cooked. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings for a crave-worthy dinner! 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos (Chipotle Copycat) | Cooking Classy

My Go-To Barbacoa Recipe

This barbacoa is really easy to make, the slow cooker does most of the work.

It does take a little while to get all the beef browned but the browning is worth it. It just brings that deep layer of flavor that you won’t get if you just toss it in the slow cooker and skip that step.

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What Should I Serve this Beef In?

I like this beef best for tacos but it would also be great for burritos or burrito bowls, salads, over nachos, or in quesadillas.

Ingredients for Barbacoa Beef

  • Chuck roast
  • Vegetable oil
  • Beef broth
  • Chipotle chilis in adobo
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Lime juice

How to Make Barbacoa Beef

  • Cut roast into 6 portions while removing any large pieces of fat.
  • Heat oil in skillet and sear beef, half at a time, until browned on all sides.
  • In a food processor, pulse together chipotle chilies, garlic and 1/4 cup beef broth until well pureed.
  • Whisk together remaining beef broth with chipotle mixture, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves.
  • Pour mixture over beef in slow cooker, add bay leaves.
  • 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.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos (Chipotle Copycat) | Cooking Classy

Can I Cook it On High Heat?

High heat cooking is not recommend here, the beef won’t be as tender so stick with low and slow.

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Barbacoa Beef (for Tacos and More!)

The Best Barbacoa Beef! This meat is deliciously seasoned and perfectly tender since it's slow cooked. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings for a crave-worthy dinner!

Servings: 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth , divided
  • 3 - 4 chipotle chilis in adobo
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt , then more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Cut roast into 6 portions while removing any large pieces of fat. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Once hot add 3 pieces of the chuck roast 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.
  2. 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, salt, pepper 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 (I wouldn't recommend cooking on high, low cooking will achieve more tender results).
  3. 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.

  4. Recipe source: adapted slightly from food.com
Nutrition Facts
Barbacoa Beef (for Tacos and More!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 349 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 427mg 18%
Potassium 685mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Protein 33g 66%
Vitamin A 0.9%
Vitamin C 3.6%
Calcium 5.3%
Iron 25.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Barbacoa, Barbacoa Recipe
Calories: 349 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos (Chipotle Copycat) | Cooking Classy

31 comments

  • Mike: Hello. I am going to make this tomorrow. Can you please tell me how to use the Chiles? They come in a can with sauce. Do you just take three of them out of the can? Do you pour the sauce from the can in with them? Thank you for your reply May 9, 2017 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Tasha: By far my favorite pinterest find!! I have made this a few times and everyone loves it. Thank you for a great recipe! February 2, 2017 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you love them Tasha! February 16, 2017 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Frida: I didn’t like the taste of cloves at all :(( September 18, 2016 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Linda: Just curious, what do you do with the leftover chipotle peppers you don’t use? Can I freeze them for later use? Seems a waste to throw them away.. September 6, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

    • Mary: I froze mine and seems to work! December 30, 2016 at 6:50am Reply

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