The Best Mexican Beef Barbacoa

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Our Beef Barbaco recipe is packed with authentic flavors that rival your favorite Mexican restaurant! You might recognize barbacoa from your favorite Chipotle order. As always, homemade is better. Traditional recipes call for you to slow cook your meat over an open fire. If you don’t have the appropriate equipment, don’t worry! You can totally recreate this recipe at home in the oven, Instant Pot or slow cooker. Use your beef barbacoa as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas—just to name a few. You can also serve it with rice and beans as a main course. We’re sure your family will quickly fall in love with this easy recipe. Don’t be surprised if they lick the plate clean!

What is Barbacoa Beef?

As mentioned earlier, barbacoa is a dish that is traditionally cooked over an open fire. barbecue It means barbecue in Spanish and reflects the traditional way of cooking. That said, contrary to popular belief, this recipe actually originated in the Caribbean before making its way to Mexico. Today, it is often found in Mexican restaurants. This dish was originally prepared with lamb, goat or ox tau (beef cheek). The meat is coated with spices, seasonings and a light broth, then boiled for hours.

Meat Choices:

This recipe works with any of the meats listed above: lamb, goat, or beef. Easy meat changes without changing the cooking time! We chose roast beef chuck for our recipe because it is readily available in regular supermarkets. Beef brisket and beef cheeks work well too. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand!

Spice Level Variations:

Our beef barbacoa recipe calls for three different types of peppers: chipotle, guajillo, and ancho peppers. The result is a slightly pungent and spicy taste. That said, depending on which chipotles you’re using, it might get a little warm. If you don’t like spicy food, you probably won’t like this recipe. You can also serve it cold with a dollop of sour cream.

What to Serve with Barbacoa Beef:

Wondering what to serve this dish with? We provide you with:

Troubleshooting: How to Rehydrate Peppers?

The sauce for this recipe uses dried guava and ancho chili. These peppers are easy to find in the specialty foods section of most supermarkets. You can also find them in Latin American specialty stores and even online. Working with them can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but they’re actually pretty easy! For this recipe, you will need to rehydrate the peppers. Simply:

  • Put them in a bowl or jar and cover with water.
  • Let them soak for 1 to 4 hours (or overnight) before using in recipes.

If you need to speed up the soaking process, pour boiling water over them and let them sit for at least 30 minutes. The heat will help soften them faster.

Can I make this recipe in an instant pot or slow cooker?

Absolutely!This recipe includes instructions for traditional stews in the oven, as well as slow cooker and instant pot。 If you’re not already familiar with the Instant Pot, it’s a sleek kitchen appliance, the electric pressure cooker. It can cook your roast in just over 1 hour. Pretty impressive!