Slow cooker Beef Barbacoa

  • Author: Marissa Allen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8- 10 servings
  • Cuisine: Mexican


An easy sauce prepared in the blender poured on top of a large cut of beef left to simmer away in your slow cooker till it falls apart!


  • 4 lb beef shoulder, bottom round, or chuck roast
  • salt and pepper to season roast before searing
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle paste
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion or half of 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (Or 2 Pitted dates for Whole30)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp of Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1- 1/2 C water or beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt + pepper to taste before serving


  1. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper. Sear each side in pan till a crust develops (2-3 minutes ea. side)
  2. Place chipotle peppers, onion, garlic cloves, lime juice,cumin, oregano, and apple cider vinegar to blend. Pulse till smooth.
  3. Add roast to slow cooker or french oven. Cover with beef broth or water and toss in bay leaves. Cook on low for 4-5 hours in slow cooker or 3-4 in oven on 300 degrees.
  4. The meat should fall apart in the sauce; if not, cook it a little longer and shred with a fork. Remove the bay leaves. At the end of the cook time, taste the meat and the sauce. You will need to add more salt, pepper, and possibly cumin. If too spicy, add a little brown sugar (or another date)!
  5. If you have a loose sauce, remove the meat and let it simmer on the stove for about 5 minutes; it will tighten right up.


Whole30 Compliant beef broth can be hard to find. Use water or chicken broth instead!