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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 96 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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580 comments on “Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker)”

  1. 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… 

  2. 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.

  3. This was really good and easy! Was able to throw it together after work and enjoy a delicious dinner. 

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. I used steaks, too! Mine were thinner than yours, so I knocked it down even more to 40 minutes. Worked great!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.