Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos

I really enjoy a nice slow braised meat dish since the long braising time makes the meat melt in your mouth tender and really brings out it's flavour so when I was thinking about recipes for Cinco de Mayo beef barbacoa immediately came to mind! Although the cooking style has changed from the traditional fires and pits to modern stoves, ovens and even slow cookers this dish is tasty no matter which way you make it! This dish is super easy to make, you pretty much just brown the meat add some liquid along with the seasonings and simmer, bake or slow cook until the meat is falling apart tender before shredding and enjoying in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc. The primary seasonings are chipotle chilies, cumin, oregano, garlic, lime juice and a touch of cloves that adds an amazing aroma and that hint of something exotic. Despite being so simple the long slow braise makes this dish truly amazing! It's so good that I often find it difficult to not gobble it all up by the fingersful before it even makes it into the tacos! Speaking of tacos, I always like to enjoy a fresh batch of beef barbacoa in tacos simply dressed with tangy onions and cilantro to let the barbacoa flavour shine!

Note: This recipe is perfect for the slow cooker especially in the summer when you may not want to have the oven on making your place even hotter than it already is!

Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos
I'll take three to go!

Barbacoa Tacos
A Chipotle copycat!

Barbacoa Tacos
Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes Servings: 6

Slow braised, melt in your mouth tender beef barbacoa in a tasty sauce with spicy chipotle chilies that is perfect in tacos with diced onions and cilantro!

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or beer or water
  • 4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, torn
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat in a large heavy bottomed oven safe pot, add the beef and brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes, before setting aside.
  2. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes, before adding the garlic, cumin and oregano and cooking for a further minute.
  3. Add the broth, chipotle chilies, lime juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, cloves and bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the meat is pull apart tender, about 3-4 hours. OR Transfer the pot to a preheated 275F/140C oven and braise until the meat is pull apart tender, about 3-4 hours. OR Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  5. Remove the beef, shred and place back in the pot.
  6. Assemble the tacos in the tortillas with beef barbacoa, diced onions and cilantro or your favourite taco ingredients.

Option: If you are making this in the slow cooker you can optionally skip steps 1-2.
Option: Add a few splashes of fish sauce!
Nutrition Facts: Calories 323, Fat 11g (Saturated 3g, Trans 0.3g), Cholesterol 96mg, Sodium 946mg, Carbs 21g (Fiber 3g, Sugars 1g), Protein 35g
Nutrition by: Nutritional facts powered by Edamam


Maria said...

Perfect tacos for taco night!

Jenny said...

What a great dinner! My kids will love these!!

Julie @ Table for Two said...

Mmm I love me some tacos!!

Heather Christo said...

this is seriously one of our favorite things ever! these tacos looks absolutely amazing Kevin

NotesFromAbroad said...

Hi Kevin
What brand are you using .. for Tacos ? Those in the photo look like flour, they are much "finer" than the corn tortillas that I am used to seeing. They look like I would like them better if they still have that corn taste .
Thanks ! C

Kevin Lynch said...

NotesFromAbroad: The tortillas are corn tortillas that a local Latin American shop makes from scratch.

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

A fantastic recipe for Cinco de Mayo!

Anonymous said...

Mmm these look delicious. Going to try them.

Jasline @ Foodie Baker said...

A good braised meat is such a comfort food, I think you've nailed it Kevin! Looks delicious!

bev @ bev cooks said...

I could spend my entire life in these tacos.

Carolyn Mongeon said...

Not only does this sound authentic ( I live in Arizona), but it is economical. You have an amazing attention to details!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,
I was wondering if you've used fresh or dried oregano? Thanks!

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous: I used dried oregano.

LuisaCA said...

Enjoyed these tonight. I cut back on the chipotles to one as I have problems with too spicy but now I think I could have gone with two. Leftovers destined for your burrito bowls!

Kevin Lynch said...

LuisaCA: I'm glad you like it and enjoy the burrito bowls!

Anonymous said...

I just made these tacos and they were incredible! The seasonings are in perfect proportion and make the meat absolutely delicious. Thanks!

Rene S said...

I made this yesterday in my pressure cooker, it took 1-1/2 hours to cook plus 25 min prep. Turned out fantastic. This is a recipe I will be making on a regular basis. Now I just need to make more of the yummy looking recipe's I have pinned from you! Thanks!


Kevin Lynch said...

Rene S: I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Stephanie said...

I made this in my slow cooker yesterday and it was delicious! I had to add more beer to keep the meat moist. Also, I only used three chipotle peppers and it still had a nice kick. Thanks for another great recipe!

Kevin Lynch said...

Stephanie: I'm glad you liked them!

Cheesesteak said...

Looks amazingly tasty Kevin. I wanted to pick your brain about how you heat up your corn tortillas? Also, in your opinion, does it really make a difference if you sear/brown the meat chunks if using a crockpot. I've tried both methods and can't tell if one way is better than another. If no difference then it'll save time skipping that step.

Thanks Man...keep up the good cookin'

Unknown said...

So, so good. I too used a bit less than 3 chipotle chiles, but I think I could have used all four. Thanks, Kevin, for yet another winner!!

Kevin Lynch said...

Cheesesteak: I think that browning the meat first adds flavour but you can skip it if you don't notice the difference. I usually heat up my corn tortillas in a cast iron pan over high heat but over the grill is also good.

Anonymous said...

Just made these for supper. Used 3 chipotle peppers and was decently spicy. Store was out of chuck roast so used stewing beef. Cooked for 4 hours in oven. I added a slaw and some cilantro lime sauce. Will definitely be a regular recipe.

Post a Comment