Barbacoa is one of our favorite slow-cooked beef recipes – with a Mexican accent! Barbacoa is actually a dish that comes from the Caribbean, where the term “barbecue” originated. Over time the recipe has evolved.
In Mexico, where we became acquainted with the dish, barbacoa refers to meat that was originally slow cooked in clay pots buried in the ground and covered with leaves. In this version, chuck beef is slowly simmered in a spicy broth featuring smoky chipotle in adobo sauce and Mexican oregano and cumin.
We’ve added 3 smoked jalapenos (chipotles) for those that like it hot (like us!) but feel free to reduce that number if you like your tacos on the milder side.
If you can’t find chipotles in adobo sauce, (and aren’t inclined to make it yourself) try substituting a 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder or smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder and 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste for each chili pepper.
This is a great recipe to feed a crowd and is easily adaptable to so many other Mexican dishes. Think taco salad, beef enchiladas, quesadillas, spicy beef scrambled eggs, chili, or even peppers stuffed with barbacoa and rice. Best of all, you can make a big batch and freeze it in small portions to use later.
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Note: This stove top version can be also made in a crock pot – just set it on low and cook for 8 – 10 hours.
Slow Cooked Barbacoa Beef Tacos
Barbacoa beef tacos are slow cooked with chipotle peppers and other spices and topped with fresh onions, tomatoes, and cilantro.
3 lbs chuck beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, use regular oregano if unable to find the Mexican version