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Beef Barbacoa in Slow Cooker


One of my best slow cooker recipes. Shredded beef for tacos, burritos, enchiladas or on top of nachos.

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  • 2-3 pounds boneless beef roast (shoulder, rump, chuck eye, top or bottom round, brisket)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 to 4 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 ounces beef broth
  • 8 ounces Mexican beer (leaves one good slug for the cook)


Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 630mins


Step 1

1.Generously season beef roast on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.

2.In a mini or regular-sized food processor, pulse garlic until chopped. Add cilantro leaves and pulse until minced. Add chipotle peppers plus adobo sauce, lime juice, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, and oregano. Secure lid and process until just blended.

3.Spread half of chipotle mixture over the top of the roast. Carefully flip roast over and spread remaining mixture over other side. Pour beef broth and beer into the bottom of the slow cooker (without washing the chipotle mixture off the roast). Drop in bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

4.Remove roast to a cutting board. Skim fat off top of cooking liquid, if necessary, and remove bay leaf. Slice beef into chunks and then shred pieces with two forks. Return to slow cooker, stir meat to soak up liquid, and reheat on Warm for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, or on top of a rice bowl or salad. Refrigerate leftover meat in reserved cooking liquid.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Adjust amount of chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, to taste. You may substitute the Mexican beer for all beef broth, if desired.


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