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Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Two Sauces


Barbacoa translates to 'barbecue,' and while the beef ribs are braised, they do get a nice kiss on the grill for flavor. Delicious tacos with a chile sauce and salsa verde.

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  • 4 large ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 15 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 6 (1-pound) beef short ribs, English-cut and bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • White onion, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh salsa verde


Servings 6
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 240mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a medium skillet, toast the ancho chiles over moderate heat, turning, until pliable and charred in spots, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly, then tear into pieces.

In a large roasting pan, toss the ancho and chipotle chiles with the celery, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves. In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the oregano, cumin and 2 tablespoons of salt. Arrange the ribs over the vegetables in the roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan, cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for about 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.

Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet. Strain the braising liquid through a colander set over a heatproof bowl; skim off any fat. Discard the bay leaves and return the vegetables and chiles to the braising liquid. Working in batches, purée the vegetables and liquid in a blender until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Working in batches if necessary, grill the ribs over high heat, turning occasionally, until charred and crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and, using two forks, shred the meat; discard the bones.

Serve the barbacoa in warm corn tortillas with the sauce, cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges and fresh salsa verde.

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