Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

When I know I have a busy week ahead, I try to get my butt in gear by prepping the type of entree that I can make a few dishes from and this recipe is easy, flavourful and very versatile.

I present to you, my beef barbacoa recipe!!  It’s one of those recipes that you just chuck everything in to a slow cooker in the morning and by the time you get home, you will have a phenomenal dinner just about ready to go.  I use this meat in Tacos, Burrito Bowls, Quesadillas, taquitos, enchiladas…so many possibilities.  I absolutely love chipotle’s burrito bowls but since I don’t live close to one…I had to make up my own recipe when the barbacoa craving runs deep!!

Get all of your ingredients ready to go.  (SIDETRACK coming on…) Okay if your mornings are anything like mine…they involve utter and total chaos.  There is always lots of yelling, reminders to brush your teeth like 88 times, answering ridiculous questions, a trip back in to the house when i’ve already started the car because I didn’t grab the water bottle that I reminded boy child to get 6 times…you know what i’m saying’ right?  If you don’t…there ain’t a lot of time for anything other than getting the heck out of there.  So my point, if i’m describing you…get your ingredients prepped and ready to go the night before so you all you really have to do is place ingredients in the slow cooker and turn on!

I like to chop my beef in to large chunks, just so it’s easier to fit in to the slow cooker.  Place the beef in there and then dump the spices, onion, garlic, chipotle pepper, tomato paste , apple cider vinegar and beef stock in to the slow cooker

Chipotle TIP:  I love chipotles in adobo sauce!!  The only thing is that I don’t always use the entire can so now i’ve gotten in to the habit of pureeing an entire can in my blender and then placing the puree in a jar because I find it lasts longer and I can add a little bit in to whatever I want (eggs, tacos, marinades, sauces etc.).  The jar should last in your fridge for several weeks…just make sure it’s air tight.


Turn the slow cooker on and you can either cook for 7-8 hours on low heat or if you are going to be home and want this done quicker, turn it to high heat and cook for about 4 hours or until the beef is super tender and falls apart.

Once the cooking is done.  Remove the beef chunks and place in to a large bowl.  Shred the meat with two forks and then return the meat to the delicious sauce and let those two get reacquainted.  You are going to have some delicious, tender and saucy beef that is going to elevate your taco and burrito bowl game to EPIC LEVELS!!


I had one of my followers try this out for me before I posted it and she said it was even better the next day.  woo hoo!

Beef Barbacoa Recipe


  • 3lb beef (you can use a roast or chuck) , cut in to large chunks.
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (see tip) *If you like it spicy, add another
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin, oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock


  1. Place everything in to slow cooker and mix.
  2. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or low heat for 4 hours until beef is tender and falls apart.
  3. When cooking is complete, remove beef chunks and shred with two forks
  4. Return beef to the sauce and Serve when ready.

Hope you like this little recipe.  I have to say, its a great one.  If you are in to meal prepping like I am, another great idea for this is to make a big batch on a weekend and then freeze it to make weeknight meals a breeze.  I love a good twofer!

2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

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