Barbacoa-Style Shredded Beef

This barbacoa recipe cooks the beef in a flavorful barbacoa sauce in the slow cooker until it's fall-apart tender and easy to shred. It's similar to what you'd get at Chipotle's and perfect for nachos, tacos, and burritos.


    • 1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast, cut into 6 to 8 chunks
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • ½ cup beef broth
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
    • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
    • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3 large bay leaves


  1. Season beef chunks with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook and stir beef until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer browned beef to a slow cooker.
  3. Mix broth, vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, and cloves together in a bowl until well combined. Season mixture with salt and pepper and pour over beef in the slow cooker. Stir in bay leaves.
  4. Cook on Low until beef is fork-tender, 8 to 10 hours. Discard bay leaves. Remove beef from the cooker and shred using two forks.
  5. Return beef to the slow cooker and stir to coat with sauce. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes before serving.