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Homemade Beef Barbacoa Recipe Slow Cooker

Chef Cindy Mooney , On July 2, 2023


Beef Barbacoa Recipe Slow Cooker

This slow cooker barbacoa recipe is great for beef, lamb, or other meat that has been slowly cooked with seasonings, typically shredded as a filling in tacos, burritos, or it can be served on a plate with refried beans, veggies, and Spanish rice.

To keep things as easy as possible, this beef barbacoa recipe just requires you to toss all of your ingredients in the pot and let the slow cooker do all of the work. It will definitely yield a shredded beef barbacoa that has a few chunks of onion and garlic and green chiles in there, which I don’t mind. But if you want to take an extra step, you can pulse all of the extra non-beef ingredients (minus the bay leaves) together in a food processor or blender beforehand so that there are no chunks in the final beef barbacoa recipe when it is plated. Up to you!

Homemade Beef Barbacoa Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (900g) beef shank and/or chuck roast

  • Beef For Barbacoa

    Use Beef Chuck Roast and/or Shank.

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped

  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 bunches of tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • Chile wahio

  • 2 teaspoons bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Chicken flavor Boullon

  • Seasoned Meat

    Seasonings to be Used

Homemade Beef Barbacoa Recipe in Slow Cooker Cooking Directions

  • Trim any excess fat from the chuck roast and cut it into large chunks.

  • Slice an dice the beef into smaller, more managable pieces like cubes.

    Seasoned Meat

    Prepare Seasoned Meat

  • Clean the garlic

    Clean the garlic

    Peel the garlic cloves

  • Prepare the Barbacoa Sauce

  • Clean the chile wahio under running water. Then combine the tomato, garlic, chopped onion, minced chipotle peppers, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker with water add 1tbsp of the chicken boullon.

    Seasoned Meat

    Barbacoa Sauce

  • Cook The Barbacoa Beef

  • Place the beef in a deep pot, and pour in the beef broth covering the meat. Then, add the spice over it, making sure the meat is covered.

    Seasoned Meat

    Cook the Beef Submerged in Broth with Bay Leaves, Garlic, Salt, and Pepper, and Onion.

  • Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily shreds with a fork.

    Seasoned Meat

    Take the Cooked Barbacoa Out of the Pot

  • Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks.

    Shred it with a fork

    Shred the Meat with a Fork

  • If desired, you can strain the remaining liquid in the slow cooker to remove any solids and use it as a flavorful sauce for the barbacoa.

  • Serve the shredded barbacoa beef recipe with toppings of choice, and garnish with fresh cilantro, diced onions, lime wedges, salsa verde, pico de gallo salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

    Shred it with a fork

    Beef Barbacoa Recipe Toppings

Enjoy this beef barbacoa recipe! Some people also like to sear the beef in a tablespoon or two of oil in a sauté pan before adding it to the pot, which will result in some crispier edges and slightly richer flavor. This is similar to a braising technique where meat is seared before being slow cooked. You can do it here also if you wish.

Any leftovers can be stored with the sauce in a food storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

Chef Cindy Mooney

With a personal mission to spread the good name of nutrition through mouthwatering recipes, Chef Cindy's philosophy around nutrition is deeply rooted in food as medicine. In the kitchen, she offers a conscious, restorative, and functional approach to cooking; an approach she has cultivated during her years working in farm-to-table restaurants.