Closeup Beef Barbacoa in white bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Barbacoa Beef

Closeup Beef Barbacoa in white bowlSave Tender beef cooked in a spicy chipotle sauce, perfect for Burritos and burrito bowls. Paleo friendly.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword barbacoa beef, beef barbacoa, crock pot barbacoa beef, slow cooker barbacoa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 231kcal
Author Beth Mueller



  • 5- pound chuck roast cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion cut into large dice
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • Juice from 1 large or 2 small, limes
  • 4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned peppers
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 bay leaves


  • Place oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef pieces and cook until all sides are browned. Turn often and move beef pieces around the pan to ensure even browning.
  • Remove beef from skillet and place into a crockpot.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, black pepper, salt, cumin, cloves, allspice, broth or water, lime juice, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  • Pour sauce over browned beef in a slow cooker or Dutch oven.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon white sugar over sauce and add bay leaves.
  • Cook in slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. If using a Dutch oven cook in a 325 Degree F oven for 3 hours or until meat is tender.
  • When meat is tender removed from the slow cooker or Dutch oven, reserve broth and discard bay leaves. Allow meat to cool slightly.
  • When cool, shred beef and put back into the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten the beef.
  • Continue to cook beef for another hour.


Chipotle peppers can be reduced if you do not like your food super spicy. Start with two, taste the sauce and add more until desired heat is achieved.
Skip the sugar to make this recipe paleo and keto friendly.
Nutritional calculators vary, please consult calculator of choice if the information is vital.


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.38g | Protein: 30.67g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 246mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.92g