Juicy and super delicious, Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa, slow cooked for 8 hours on Low, in the Crockpot is perfectly seasoned, and is super juicy and tender in every bite. Layer it in Corn Tortillas or wrap it up in a Burrito, topped with some freshly chopped Cilantro, Red Onions, lots of Lime Juice and serve.
What is Barbacoa?
Barbacoa is juicy and spicy cooked beef, heavily seasoned with Chipotle Chilis and lime, shredded and served over Tacos.
Authentic Mexican Barbacoa is made with Chuck Roast. However, the choice of Beef cut, varies in different part of the country.
Also, in the US, Barbacoa is also made using Goat or Lamb.
- What is Barbacoa?
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
- Barbacoa Beef
- Ingredients needed to make Beef Barbacoa
- How to make Barbacoa Beef (step by step instructions)
- Top tips to make the Best ever Beef Barbacoa in Crockpot
- What are some good sides with Barbacoa Beef?
- What should I serve Barbacoa Beef in?
- What topping should I put over Barbacoa?
- Can I cook Barbacoa in High?
- What type of Meat is Barbacoa?
- More Mexican Recipes you'll Love
- The Best Beef Barbacoa Recipe Ever (Crockpot)
Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
Beef Barbacoa is authentically cooked underground, in a pit with coal. It is steamed cooked for hours, which lends it that amazing smoky taste and juicy texture.
Barbacoa is pretty easy recipe, needing some basic pantry staple ingredients which we all have at home at all times.
I love this Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa recipe because it cooks the Chuck Roast to perfection, while keeping them juicy and full of flavors. I hate it when Beef gets chewy and dry.
But using the slow cooker, is such a relief. It cooks Beef to perfection, without letting it dry out, rendering you the juiciest ever Beef Barbacoa.
Also, slow cooking allows ample time for the meat to soak up all the spices and get extra delicious and special.
Ingredients needed to make Beef Barbacoa
- Chuck Roast - The marbling fat makes this the best cut to use for juicy and flavorful Barbacoa.
- Olive Oil - to sear the roast, before throwing it in the Slow Cooker.
- Chipotle Chili in Adobo - Chipotle Chilis are an absolute essential ingredient here. Its what makes Barbacoa so spicy and full of flavors.
- Garlic - minced garlic for flavors
- Ground Cumin, Ground Cloves, Dried Oregano & Bay Leaves - these are the only four spices you will need for Barbacoa.
- Fresh Lime Juice - Balances out the heat of spices and gives a nice freshness.
- Salt and Pepper - to season the Barbacoa
- Freshly chopped Cilantro - gives freshness to the shredded Beef Barbacoa.
See recipe card for quantities. Also, watch the video for a quick visual.
How to make Barbacoa Beef (step by step instructions)
STEP 1: SEAR THE BEEF BROWN
I like to lightly sear the Beef brown, before dumping and slow cooking. Searing the Beef Brown, makes them extra flavorful and delicious.
- Heat Olive Oil in a skillet.
- As the oil shimmers, add the Beef Cubes in it and sear both sides until brown (about 3-4 minutes, over medium high heat).
STEP 2: MAKE CHILI PASTE
- Use a food processor to blend together all the ingredients - Beef Broth, Chipotle Chilis in Adobo, Garlic, Ground Cumin, Ground Cloves, Dried Oregano, Bay Leaf, Salt and Pepper.
STEP 3: SLOW COOK BEEF BARBACOA
- Dump the browned Beef cubes in the slow cooker
- Pour the Chili Paste over it, add Bay Leaves.
- Toss to combine everything. Cover with the lid and slow cook on low for 8-9 hours.
STEP 4: SHRED BEEF
- After cooking, get the Beef out of the slow cooker in a separate plate
- Shred it using two forks
- Toss the shredded Beef back to the slow cooker.
- Stir in finely chopped Cilantro and Freshly squeezed Lime Juice.
Remember to keep it in warm setting so that, it doesn't get cold.
Hint: leave the Barbacoa in warm mode so that it soaks up all the fresh flavors of Lime Juice and Cilantro. You will love the added freshness to Beef Barbacoa along with the spices.
Store leftover Barbacoa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store shredded Beef with some of the juices, for 4-5 days.
Top tips to make the Best ever Beef Barbacoa in Crockpot
- Use Chuck Roast with fat for making Barbacoa.
- Remember Beef with more fat is equal to more flavors.
- Use Chipotle Chilis in Adobo because its what makes it taste authentic and delicious.
- Use Ground Cumin and Ground Cloves. You will love the flavors of Barbacoa with these spices.
- Remove the Bay Leaf after cooking.
What are some good sides with Barbacoa Beef?
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice (Low Carb)
- Quinoa and Black Beans (Vegan)
- Black Bean Pasta Casserole
- BHomemade Refried Beans
- Cilantro Lime Quinoa
What should I serve Barbacoa Beef in?
You can serve it in:
- with Mexican Rice
What topping should I put over Barbacoa?
- Pickled Onions
- Red Onions
- Lime juice
Here are some FAQs related to Barbacoa, which i have answered for you. Hope this helps.
Can I cook Barbacoa in High?
Yes you can. But I would not recommend cooking on high as will make the Beef dry and chewy.
What type of Meat is Barbacoa?
Generally Beef or Lamb or Goat is used to make Barbacoa. In Southern Mexico, even Pork is used to make Barbacoa. Its called cochinita pibil. However, you can customize it with Chicken or Vegan Meat to fit your diet.
More Mexican Recipes you'll Love
- Chicken Carnitas
- Vegan Birria Tacos
- Turkey Enchiladas
- Grilled Chicken Tacos
- Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
- Authentic Mexican Chicken Tinga (in Slow Cooker)
The Best Beef Barbacoa Recipe Ever (Crockpot)
- 4 lbs Chuck Roast
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1¼ cup Beef Broth low sodium
- 3-4 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo
- 5 cloves Garlic minced
- 1½ tablespoon Ground Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 3 Large Bay Leaves dried
- ¼ cup Lime Juice
- ¾ teaspoon Salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Cut the Chuck Roast into 6 large pieces. Remove any large portion of fat. Heat Olive Oil in a skillet. As the oil shimmers, add the roast to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until brown on both sides.
- After the beef gets seared, place them in the slow cooker, side by side.
- Add all the remaining ingredients - Beef Broth, Adobo Chilis, Garlic, Cumin, Cloves, Oregano, salt and pepper and lime juice to the food processor. Pulse until blended smooth. Pour this on top of the Beef. Add the Bay Leaves on top.
- Cover with the lid. Slow cook for 8 hours on Low or 6 hours on High. After cooking, get the Beef out of the slow cooker in a separate plate. Shred them using two forks. Toss the shredded Beef back to the slow cooker. Stir in finely chopped Cilantro and Freshly squeezed Lime Juice.
- Serve shredded Beef Barbacoa in Tacos or wrap it up in a Burrito.