Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa is beef slowly cooked with onions in a flavorful broth until shreds easily with forks. This slightly sweet and smoky beef is delicious tucked into soft tacos, atop nachos or layered in tostadas! This recipe yields quite a bit and is great for serving a crowd.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

First things first, what is barbacoa? Depending on where you are will depend on what type of meat and preparation. In some areas it’s goat, beef or pork. But in a nutshell, it’s slowly cooked meat. From the research I’ve done, the word barbacoa has translated to barbecue over time. Whether that refers to the spices used or preparation, it’s hard to tell. In modern Mexico, some may slowly cook it over an open fire or dug in a whole covered with a certain type of leaf. However, in my kitchen I use the slow cooker so I can set it and forget it.

The key to getting more flavor and texture with your beef barbacoa is to season the meat well with kosher salt and black pepper before searing it in a hot skillet. Then cooking the onions in the pan while scraping all the flavor-filled browned bits on the bottom of the skillet before adding it into your slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

The simplest way to serve beef barbacoa is to fill tortillas with the saucy, shredded beef and top with onions, cilantro and a squeeze lime juice. However you can’t go wrong with anyway you decide to serve it. I love it on nachos where the exposed ends of the barbacoa get crispy in the hot oven.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Here’s what you will need: 5 to 6 pounds beef chuck, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon light olive oil, 1 large (or two medium) sweet onions, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 6 cloves garlic (grated), 2 rounded tablespoons tomato paste, 1 rounded tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

First preheat a large stainless skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, season all the sides of the roast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Because my grocery store doesn’t carry any chuck roast over 2-1/2 pounds, I had purchased two. 

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeefSlow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Then, once hot, add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat, creating a non-stick surface. Sear the roast for 4 to 5 minutes on both sides. Then transfer the caramelized seared roast to your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, grated garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika and chicken stock and set off to the side.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Once the meat is seared and in the slow cooker, reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and add in the diced sweet onion with a pinch of salt. Stir and cook until tender while scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add a few splashes of water (up to 1/4 cup) to the pan to help lift up any stuck-on browned bits. Once the water has evaporated transfer the onions to the slow cooker as well.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Then pour the cooking liquids over the beef and onions, lifting and submerging the beef.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Next, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high heat for 4 to 6 hours. 

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Then, once cooked, use tongs to lift out the beef and transfer it to a cutting board. It should be falling apart. Then shred the beef using two forks.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

Lastly, transfer the beef back to the slow cooker along with a few pinches of salt (to taste) and cook on high heat, uncovered for about 25 to 30 additional minutes.

If making the slow cooker beef barbacoa in advance: Transfer the shredded beef barbacoa to a container. And the liquids in a separate container and once cooled refrigerate overnight. Remove the top layer of fat and reheat the liquids and beef back in the slow cooker on low until heated through.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

As tempting as it is to just eat this right out of a bowl, this flavorful sweet and smoky, tender slow cooker beef barbacoa is delicious stuffed into tacos, layered on tacos or tostadas and then adorned with all the toppings.

For more slow cooker recipes, click here!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef    

Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa l SimplyScratch.com #beef #barbacoa #texmex #slowcooker #recipe #easy #shreddedbeef

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Yield: 8+

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa is beef slowly cooked with onions in a flavorful broth until shreds easily with forks. This slightly sweet and smoky beef is delicious tucked into soft tacos, atop nachos or layered in tostadas! This recipe yields quite a bit and is great for serving a crowd.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 5 to 6 pounds beef chuck roast
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) sweet onions
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 rounded tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 rounded tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 rounded teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 1 rounded teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stainless skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Meanwhile season the whole roast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat and sear the roast on all sides for 4 to 6 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer the seared roast to your slow cooker.
  5. Reduce the heat under the pan and add in the onions with a pinch of kosher salt, cooking until tender while scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add a splash or two of water (up to 1/4 cup) to help scrape up those browned bits, simmer until any water evaporates. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker as well.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika and broth. Pour this overtop of the roast and onions.
  7. Replace the cove to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
  8. Once cooked, remove the roast to a cutting board and use two forks to shred. Transfer the shredded barbacoa back to the slow cooker and increase the heat to high and simmer for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Season with kosher salt, as needed.
  10. Alternatively (if making in advance) transfer the shredded beef barbacoa to a container. And the liquids in a separate container and once cooled refrigerate overnight. Remove the top layer of fat and reheat the liquids and beef back in the slow cooker on low until heated through.

Notes

Serve in taco shells, salads and nachos.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 141mg Sodium: 292mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 14g Protein: 43g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

One Response to “Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa”

  1. #
    1
    saad — February 25, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Thank you wonderful description

Leave a Comment