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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef


This recipe for Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef is super simple and will add variety to your next taco night! You can use the meat in your other favorite Mexican dishes like burritos and enchiladas.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (87 Votes)


  • 4 chipotle peppers, plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
  • 5 dry bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 5 to 7 pounds beef brisket
  • 4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock


Adapted from


Step 1

Stir together chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker (if you have a food processor, pulse till combined first before adding).

Place the brisket on top of this mixture. Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.

Cook on high for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to warm and let sit for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat, if desired. If you plan on frying it again before use, the small fat bits are extra tasty and should be kept! Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

To keep it warm for guests you can return it to your slow cooker after you have removed the remaining liquid. That liquid is extra tasty and can be frozen into ice cube-sized portions to be used in other dishes later, if you so desire.

Serve with fresh tortillas, onion, cilantro, and salsa.


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