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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker)

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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.

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.
Barbacoa Beef

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.

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.

Seems like everyone bought an Instant Pot (affil link) last week 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

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. 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. 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.

Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)

4.83 from 97 votes
4
Cals:153
Protein:24
Carbs:2
Fat:4.5
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.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Barbacoa Beef with corn salsa on a plate.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 9 Servings
Serving Size: 4 oz

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Serving: 4 oz, Calories: 153 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 4.5 g, Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 334.5 mg

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584 comments on “Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker)”

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. . 

  3. 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! 

  4. 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.

  5. 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! 

  6. 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!!

  7. 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?! 

  8. I used to make this recipe in my crockpot but that recipe has disappeard. Will this recipe work in a crockpot?

  9. Avatar photo
    Chris Memering

    This recipe is awesome. And we always have leftovers. we were thinking about taking the meat and using the yogurt dough recipe to make baked empanadas. Thoughts?  Cooking time thoughts would be much appreciated. 

    1. I think it would work! Check out both of these recipes– https://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-empanadas/ and https://www.skinnytaste.com/air-fryer-beef-empanadas/. Let me know how they come out!

    1. Kat, the recipe says to use high pressure for about an hour– so that would be the manual pressure button on high.

  10. Prepared this today, but in my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker…

    Also only used 1 chipotle in sauce….have to watch our sodium level….husband is allowed only 1500 mg daily…so also no added salt

    From the bite we both sampled…delicious

    Thanks…

  11. Good, but I expected more flavor than we got. We were hit with lime and cumin…not a bad combo, just lots of it. I’m going to play with a little more chipotle pepper next time, as I held off on going full strength until I could see how hot it was going to be. You MUST make the corn salsa to go with this!

  12. Absolutely delicious and with the rice and salsa it tasted so much like Chipotle. However, by the time I was done, I wished I had just gone to chipotle. The kitchen was a mess and it was a lot to prepare and probably wasn’t much cheaper at all. While we all agreed it was great, even the little ones, I think next time we’ll just splurge on the real deal.

  13. If I want to cut this recipe to 1/3, do I cut all the ingredients? In a 6qt instant pot is it okay to only use 1/3 cup water for this recipe? How much liquid will 1lb of beef naturally give off? I’m new to instant pot cooking!  Thanks!

  14. This will sound like a weird question. My husband does not like the texture of shredded meat. Would lean ground beef work with this recipe?