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4.67 from 33 votes


Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

This easy beef barbacoa recipe is made in the slow cooker and is even better than Chipotle's. The beef is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor from the tangy and slightly smoky marinade. Use the shredded beef to make tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, and more!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef
Servings: 10
Calories: 371kcal


  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, for seasoning beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves


  • Trim excess fat off beef and cut into 4 to 6 large pieces. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef pieces to the hot skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, garlic, chipotle in adobo, beef broth, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cloves, and bay leaves. Use tongs to mix, making sure the beef is covered and seasoned evenly.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours or until beef is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork.
  • Use tongs to transfer the beef from the slow cooker to a large cutting board. Use two forks to shred the beef.
  • Serve the beef over rice, make tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, salads, and more!


Store leftover barbacoa beef in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 675mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 5mg