There are few things in life more exciting than seeing this slow cooker chipotle beef barbacoa come bubbling to life. It makes the most tender beef you can imagine coupled with an amazing broth with just the right level of heat thanks to the milder chipotle chiles–yum!
How to Make Chipotle Beef Barbacoa
There’s nothing that I love more than easy to make set-and-forget slow cooker recipes like this chipotle beef barbacoa:
- Blend. Add the beef broth, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, peeled garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, dried oregano, ground cumin, and salt and black pepper to taste to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Prepare the slow cooker. Add your choice of either 3 pounds of beef brisket or chuck roast (trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces) to the slow cooker.
- Add the broth. Pour the beef broth mixture into the slow cooker with the beef.
- Add bay leaf. Add the 2 bay leaves.
- Cook. Cover with a lid and cook on LOW for approximately 8-10 hours.
- Remove the leaves. Remove the bay leaves from the slow cooker. If you want a milder spice level, you can also take out the chipotle chiles at this point.
- Shred. Shred the beef with two forks and then stir to combine.
- Serve. Serve the barbacoa with your favorite toppings.
What is Barbacoa?
Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of slow cooked beef, goat, or lamb.
The meat is typically cooked with dried chiles and various spices until it’s perfectly tender before being added to dishes like tacos, burritos, or fajitas. It’s most often made to be quite spicy, but milder versions can also be made for keto dieters who aren’t quite so big on spicy foods.
How Spicy Are Chipotle Chiles?
If you’re familiar with jalapeno peppers, the chipotle chiles in this recipe have a similar spice level.
Both jalapeno peppers and chipotle chiles are measured at anywhere between 2,500 – 8,000 scoville units.
However, chipotle chiles have a slightly smokier flavor, which is why they’re absolutely perfect for this particular beef barbacoa recipe.
Can I Make Barbacoa Without a Slow Cooker?
If you don’t own a slow cooker, you will still be able to make this chipotle beef barbacoa. You’ll just have to change a few things up.
You can usually make any type of crockpot recipe in the oven by simply using a Dutch oven and cooking the dish at a low temperature for an extended period of time. Believe it or not, this is actually how barbacoa was traditionally made, so it’s a perfectly viable option to use. A slow cooker just makes things easier when it comes to preparing this dish.
Can I Freeze This Chipotle Beef Barbacoa for Later? (+How to Reheat)
You can easily freeze your chipotle beef barbacoa leftovers to enjoy later on.
As with any hot food, you’ll first want to make sure that you allow the barbacoa to cool completely before freezing. You can then simply transfer the barbacoa into a freezer-safe airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to reheat your barbacoa, you can just take it out of the freezer and leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight. I would then add it back into a slow cooker and reheat it on low for 8 hours for best results.
(You may also like: Keto Ground Beef Stroganoff)
Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Barbacoa (Crave-worthy Copycat Recipe)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- 3 pounds beef brisket or chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- ¼ cup beef broth
- 2 medium chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 1 tbsp of sauce)
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 bay leaf
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In a blender add the beef broth, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, oregano, cumin and salt and black pepper to taste and blend until smooth.
- Place the beef in the slow cooker.
- Pour in the beef broth mixture.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Cover with a lid.
- Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Shred the meat with two forks and stir to combine.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.