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Get All Easy to Make Recipes of Barbacoa

Barbacoa- this easy beef barbacoa recipe is made in the slow cooker and is even better than Chipotle’s. The beef is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor from the tangy and slightly smoky marinade. Use the shredded beef to make tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, and more!

Shredded Barbacoa in blue bowl with lime wedges and cilantro

Slow cooker recipes always come in handy and this Barbacoa recipe is a dinner favorite. We love making it for busy weeknights or easy entertaining.

Barbacoa (the Spanish word for barbecue) is a slow method of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean. Traditionally, the meat is cooked in a pit in the ground or over an open fire, but we use the slow cooker to get the same tender and juicy results.

Lamb, goat, pork, or beef can be used. We use beef chuck roast, which is budget friendly and easy to find at the grocery store. It is the perfect cut of meat for slow cooking because the savory, spicy, tangy marinade breaks the meat down as it slowly cooks in the crockpot.

When the meat is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred with forks. It will easily fall apart because it is so tender. Transfer back to the slow cooker in all of the flavorful juices.

This is a great meal prep recipe because you can make the meat in advance and use all week to make different recipes and dishes. Serve with rice or make tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, nachos, and more!

It’s also a great recipe for feeding a crowd! We love making it for dinner parties. Set out tortillas, all of the taco toppings, rice, and lettuce. People can make tacos, burrito bowls, or salads. It’s such an easy and delicious recipe!

This barbacoa recipe is easy to make at home and even better than Chipotle’s barbacoa!

Barbacoa ingredients including beef chuck roast, onion, garlic, limes, beef broth, chipotles in adobo sauce, and spices.

Ingredients

Beef chuck roast– chuck roast is a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder. It is a more affordable cut of beef and perfect for the slow cooker because of the higher fat content. The slow cook time slowly breaks down the collagen and tenderizes the meat, making it juicy and tender.

Olive oil or avocado oil– for searing the beef.

Onion– we use white onion, but yellow or red onion will work too.

Garlic– 5 cloves! Don’t skip the garlic!

Chipotles in adobo sauce– to add a smoky and slightly spicy kick! You can find chipotles in adobe sauce in a can in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores.

Beef broth– you can use beef stock or beef bone broth.

Lime juice– so fresh!

Apple cider vinegar– to add a little tang and to help tenderize the meat.

Spices & Herbs– ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cloves, and bay leaves

How to Make Barbacoa

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with measurements and instructions.

Trim excess fat off beef and cut into 4 to 6 large pieces. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef pieces to the hot skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large slow cooker.

Add the onion, garlic, chipotle in adobo, beef broth, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, spices and herbs. Use tongs to mix, making sure the beef is covered and seasoned evenly.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours or until beef is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork.

Use tongs to transfer the beef from the slow cooker to a large cutting board. Use two forks to shred the beef.

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