Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

One of the best benefits of living in California is the amazing food. Pretty much any thing you can think of to eat, you can find here. Ironically, one of my favorite things is Barbacoa beef, and I first had it at Chipotle–a mainstream fast food chain.

Barbacoa is richly spiced, shredded beef full of warm flavor and texture. It is fantastic in tacos, enchiladas, burritos…basically everything. And it is incredibly easy to make, and a great slow cooker meal. I love throwing this together in the morning and coming home to a house that smells so fantastic. Kinda like Sunday pot roast, but with a kick!

To start, chop up one small onion and a small green pepper. Just rough chop strips, nothing fancy. Ultimately, these are just to help flavor up the meat anyway, and will largely break down through the very long cooking process.

Take the strips of pepper and onion and layer about 3/4 on the bottom of your slow cooker. I use a slow cooker liner so that clean up is easy…that’s the plastic bag you’re seeing. Add in about 1/2 a can of diced green chiles, and a few cloves of chopped garlic (or if it is pre-minced like mine, about 1 Tbsp or to taste).

 Next take your packet of taco seasoning and sprinkle it over your roast, rubbing it in gently. When coated, place your meat on top of your vegetables in the cooker.

 Now the next part is not going to look overly attractive but just trust me, it’s important to get as much flavor as possible and this is the way to do it. Sprinkle the remaining chiles (I also added more garlic but you can skip that part) on your meat and pour most of your jar of salsa over the top.

But the remaining slices of peppers and onions over the top of your meat and close up your slow cooker. I usually add some dry cilantro to add to the flavor, but it’s optional. Turn it on high for at least 8 to 10 hours and let it cook.

About 10 long hours later….

Now comes the fun part. The meat, while smaller, is incredibly tender. Grab some forks and shred up the meat. I also take this time to pull out any fat or remaining silver skin tissue. I never remove the onion or pepper pieces, as they add flavor and at this point are practically mush and just add to the rich broth. But I suppose you could.

Seriously, it’s heaven. Shredded up Mexican food heaven. Last thing–adjust your seasoning. When using the taco flavor packet, you never know how how salty it will be. Now that it’s cooked, taste and add any salt or pepper as needed.

Doesn’t that look amazing?? (Yes I threw some corn in to the meat. It was extra I didn’t put in my guacamole. Yum!)

Time to eat! Roll in a tortilla, or make into a bowl with your favorite toppings. Any way you eat it, it’s amazing.

1 two pound roast
1 small jar of salsa (any type)
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 package of taco seasoning
1 small onion
1 green pepper
1 can beef broth
cilantro (fresh or dried)

2-3 cloves garlic

salt & pepper to taste

Set the slow cooker to low, for at least 8-10 hours. Slice the onion and pepper into strips and layer 2/3 on the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle half of the green chiles over the onion and peppers.

Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet all over the roast, and rub in. Set on top of the onion/peppers in the slow cooker. Put the remaining pepper and onion slices on top of the roast, with the rest of the chiles.

Chop the garlic and sprinkle over the meat. Open the jar of salsa and pour over the meat. Add the can of broth to the bottom of the cooker and cook for 8-10 hours.

When done, shred the meat in the cooker. You can leave it in the juices for more of a wet style meat, or you can remove it and place it on a baking sheet and bake it for 30 minutes to dry it out (like carnitas).

Serve in a bowl with rice, beans and toppings or in a tortilla. Enjoy!

If you like this, follow my Pintrest board for more beef recipes!

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