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Recipe: Barbacoa beef

Recipe: Barbacoa beef
Posted on 09/25/2019
barbacoa beef on tortilla with avocado and bean salad
Make incredibly juicy, tender barbacoa beef in an instant pressure cooker or slow cooker.


2/3 cup beer or water
4 cloves garlic
2 chipotles in adobo sauce (or more, to taste) **not two full cans**
1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks
3 bay leaves


If using an Instant Pot:

Combine beer, garlic, chipotles, onion, green chiles, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves in a blender or food processor. Puree for 30 seconds, or until completely smooth. Set aside.

Press the “Sauté” setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil. Then once it is heated and shimmering, add the roast and sear, turning every 45–60 seconds or so, until the roast is browned on all sides. Press “Cancel” to turn off heat.

Add the bay leaves and puréed sauce, and briefly toss everything until the roast is evenly coated in the sauce. Close lit securely and set vent to “Sealing.”

Press “Manual,” then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 60 minutes. Cook. Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.

Remove the lid, and discard the bay leaves.
Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Give the beef one more good toss in all of those juices, so that it can soak them up.

Serve warm, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.

If using a slow cooker:

First, brown the roast on all sides in a pan on the stove, then place in slow cooker with other ingredients and cook 4–5 hours on high, or 8 hours on low, until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork.

Published Sept. 25, 2019