If you like cumin and spicy food, then you’ll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano.
This was a recipe request I was glad to make inspired by Chipotle’s. In my opinion, this Barbacoa beef is better than Chipotle! I serve this burrito bowl style over cilantro lime rice (I make it with brown rice too) and top it with corn salsa, a must (extra calories of course)! These would also make great beef tacos, burritos!! If beef is not your thing, check out more Instant Pot recipes here.
Seems like everyone bought an Instant Pot (affil link) on Amazon Prime Day. I got mine last Christmas, but I’ve been using my stove top pressure cooker for years and love it because it cuts down the cooking time in half. This recipe was originally written for a conventional pressure cooker, but I just updated it for both! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still make this in a Dutch oven cooked on low a few hours or even in the slow cooker.
One thing I should mention, 2 tablespoons of chipotle peppers will be mild in heat, 4 tablespoons will be very spicy, use your judgment depending on how hot you like your food.
How To Make Barbacoa Beef
Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 lime, juice
- 2-4 tbsp chiptoles in adobo sauce, to taste
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup water
- 3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 tsp oil
- 3 bay leaves
- Place garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves and water in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Trim all the fat off meat, cut into 3-inch pieces. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. Heat the pressure cooker on high (use saute button for Instant Pot), when hot add the oil and brown the meat, in batches on all side, about 5 minutes. Add the sauce from the blender and bay leaves, cover and cook on high pressure until the meat is tender and easily shreds with 2 forks, about 1 hour. (in my Instant Pot I cooked it 65 minutes). (If you're making this on the stove, simmer it on low at least 4 hours, adding more water as needed to make sure it doesn't dry out.) Natural release.
- Once cooked and the meat is tender, remove the meat and place in a dish. Shred with two forks, and reserve the liquid for later (discard the bay leaf). Return the shredded meat to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid.
590 comments on “Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)”
So flavorful! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! Served it over rice on day 1. Day 2, we had it with corn tortillas and avocado slices. YUM! Next, I’m going to try this same recipe, but try out a pork butt just for the fun of it. Thank you!
I made this and it was super easy..and tasted AMAZING! I made the cilantro lime rice and corn salsa as well and made bowls about of it! I’m curious how it would taste on a keto friendly chipotle Tortilla that the grocery stores in Texas carry. Once again Gina your recipe knocked it out of the park!♥️
Absolutely delicious! Had with corn/black bean salsa!
Not a fan of chipotle what else could I use?
How do you adjust the directions if using a slow cooker?
I would replace the Chipotles with the same amount of Jalapeños, seeds removed if you don’t like it too hot!
For slow cooking, after browning, put in the crockpot with the liquid on low for 8-hours. I don’t use water, I use beef stock.
I made this before and it told me how to make the corn and tomato topping.. I can’t seem to find that part of the recipe…
Here’s the rice as well
Flavors were great but I wasn’t keen on the cut if beef. Next time I will try it with short ribs. I felt it needed more fat.
Just try it with regular Chuck roast with a fair amount of fat/marble and Marinade in sauce for 2-4 hours (;
This was really good and easy! Was able to throw it together after work and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Hi! I want to try this recipe for visitors, using a crock pot. Any suggestions re let get of time and preferred meat,? ( Will it be fall apart tender like a pork shoulder that has cooked 8 or 9 hours?)… thank you!
I don’t think so because this cut of beef isn’t as marbled as pork shoulder
I made this last weekend in the crock pot using bottom round and cooked for about 4 hours on high and then 4 hours on low the following day, just due to timing. It shredded up great! I didn’t bother searing the meat first.
I used a pork shoulder butt roast, didn’t sear it and placed it in the crock pot on low for about 9 hours and it was AMAZING! I have used this recipe with several different beef and pork Roasts on low in the crock pot all day while working and they always fell apart. I have it memorized now. We just add a little more Chipotle since we love the kick it gives.
Sounds and looks amazing! I don’t like spicy. Could I omit or substitute the adobo sauce?
What cooking time would change for using a crockpot?
I’ve never tasted Chipotle’s, but this is our favorite Barbacoa. So far I’ve made it twice. Definitely make the Cilantro Lime Rice and Corn Salsa – they add extra dimensions and flavors that take this dish off the charts!
I’m so grateful for the deliciousness of these dishes (-35 lbs and counting)! Healthy AND low fat, calorie and WW points. Thanks again, Gina!
Oh, I forgot to add that I actually used eye of round steaks, which were about an inch and a half thick. The bonus was that they were already completely trimmed so I just cut them in half and knocked the cooking time down to 50 minutes.
I used steaks, too! Mine were thinner than yours, so I knocked it down even more to 40 minutes. Worked great!
Delicious! This turned out better than I expected. My picky son loved it, and everyone agreed it WAS better than Chipotle’s! I only used 1/2 tbsp. chipotle, and chuck roast; otherwise followed exactly as written. Heads up…takes quite a while, natural release took over 1/2 hr, but well worth the wait. Super tender and flavorful.
Delicious! I used 5 lbs of beef (that’s the standard size our Costco sells for this cut) and 60 minutes on the instant pot with a long natural pressure release was just right.
First time making this. The meat came out super flavorful and tender. Paired with light sour cream, avocado, and Skinnytaste corn salsa on a corn tortilla – a perfect, easy dinner bursting with flavor.
While we love new recipes, please, with this one, use only a half tablespoons of the chipotle /adobe. If this recipe is used again, rather than chipotle/adobe, i will try salsa of my choosing.
On the photo is corn on the dish. It’s never mentioned in the recipe. I found a Can of salsa with the main ingredient of corn in the local grocery store. This was spooned on the final dish. It did help make the dish look better. .
I’m mad I waited so long to make this, it’s AMAZING! Never need to go to Chipotle again, this is so much better! Thank you!
Would rump roast work with this?
Why are there ads on the recipe? This is just useless. You can’t even do the first part of the recipe
Tried it and love it! I love the barbacoa at Chipotle and this nailed it. I added 1/2 tsp chili powder just because I like things spicy.
We made the Beef Barbacoa tonight for dinner! Its a staple in our house with the lime cilantro rice and all the fixin’s. I made the black beans for the first time and it was a hit! Thanks for all the amazing recipes!
Do you have the alternate recipe for slow cooker?
Wow! Incredible Flavor!!! I used electric pressure cooker, 65 mins, and it was perfect! Served over WW Yellow Lentil Rice for an extra treat in the points dept! Thanks for another keeper Gina!!
Made this and it was 100/10. SO GOOD!!! I made tacos and topped with onion, cilantro, sour cream & pico. I was wondering if I could use chicken instead now tonight to use up leftover ingredients?!