Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican dish that is typically made from heads of beef but can also be made with lamb or goat. It is we cooked, meaning steamed, for a long period of time with chilies, acid, and spices to make it incredibly flavorful, tender, and perfectly spicy!

For ease of access and knowing that I generally don’t have a head of beef in my freezer, I used a chuck roast. Chuck is a very flavorful, well-marbled piece of beef. Chuck roast, chuck arm roast, arm roast, or any version of those would all be great for this recipe.

Beef Barbacoa is perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, or just served over white rice. If you really want to step up your dinner game, try this recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3-4 pound beef chuck roast

1 large yellow onion, dice or cut into half moons.

3-4 chipotle chiles in adobo plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce

3 tablespoons garlic, fresh, peeled and minced

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1/2 tesapoon ground cloves

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


Place the chuck roast in the crock of your slow cooker. Place the onions around the beef. Pour all remaining ingredients over the top. Place the lid on your sloow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8. Shred with a fork, stir, and let rest in the juices for 20 minutes before serving.

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