Tender beef slow-cooked beef with cumin, adobo sauce, and smoked paprika cooked until it falls apart. Like Chipotle Barbacoa – but better!
I put Chipotle Barbacoa right up there with some of the best meat I’ve had in a restaurant, truly. The flavors are smoky, savory, complex, and mouth-watering. After many tries, this recipe is about as close to true barbacoa as I can get. The flavors are deep, authentic, and (IMO) even better than Chipotle 😉
This is a “throw it in the slow cooker and forget about it” meal, and the smell that hits you when you walk in will instantly make you hungry. The long list of ingredients looks intimidating, but this recipe is incredibly easy.
How to make Chipotle Barbacoa:
- Sear the roast in a cast-iron skillet to form a crust.
- Add the meat, seasonings, and liquid to a slow cooker.
- Set the timer for six hours and forget about it.
- Shred up the meat and serve!
While you CAN skip browning the meat, I encourage you not to. It adds complexity and depth of flavor to the dish that just adding the raw meat doesn’t.
When I make this, I like to set up a build-your-own bar complete with warm tortillas, rice, chips, and all the fixings. Our fixings include:
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- black olives
- refried beans
- hot peppers
Some of us like burritos, others like burrito bowls, and my personal favorite is barbacoa nachos.
A four-pound roast is big, but this makes enough to feed a family of four with leftovers – and you want leftovers! It tastes even better the next day.
Here are some ways to use leftover shredded beef:
- Fill flour tortillas and make quesadillas.
- Make a hash with the meat, potatoes, peppers, and onions. (I like a drippy egg on top)
- Make a casserole with leftover rice, beans, barbacoa, salsa, and cheese.
- Mix it right into warm queso, and serve it with chips!
My copycat Chipotle barbacoa is low carb, paleo, and gluten-free!
Serve this with:
- Fresh Corn Salad
- Deviled Egg Dip
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Three Bean Salad
- Bailey’s & Guinness Ice Cream
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Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe | Slow Cooked Shredded Beef
- 4 lb chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Place a cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the olive oil followed by the roast.
- Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until deep brown and crusty.
- Place the meat in the slow cooker.
- Pour the sauce over the top, followed by the bay leaves and broth.
- Cover and cook 5-6 hours on high or until the meat falls apart. (8 hours on low).
- Remove the bay leaves, and use two forks to shred the meat.
- Turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes longer to soak up the juice. If there's no excess juice, you can skip this step.