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Barbacoa Beef Recipe for Crockpot or Pressure Cooker

Classic barbacoa recipe modeled after the version served by “Chipotle” restaurants. This recipes makes a very large amount that can be frozen. Cut the recipe in half for a more standard yield.

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch. Dinner, Meat
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 6 lb. beef roast (cut into 4 or more large pieces, fat trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (ideally coconut, ghee, lard, tallow)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (approximately 6 peppers)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 juniper berries (optional)


  1. In a large pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat and sear each side of the meat until browned – about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  2. Place the meat in either a crockpot or pressure cooker.
  3. Combine vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves.
  4. Process ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  5. Pour the blended sauce over the meat and add in the stock, bay leaves and juniper berries.

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Method – Step 6:

  • Cover and simmer for 6 or more hours on low heat until very tender.

Pressure Cooker Method – Step 6:

  • Cover with pressure cooker lid and heat on medium-high heat bringing to pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions. Cook at medium heat, without losing pressure, on highest pressure setting for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until pressure is released, about 15 minutes.

Additional Instructions for Both Methods:

  1. Pour off liquid into wide bottomed pan and simmer on high heat until reduced by half.
  2. Pull beef apart with two forks. Pour reduced sauce onto beef.