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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

This super easy and delicious slow cooker barbacoa beef recipe is great for taco night. Let your crock pot do the heavy lifting so you have more time to spend with loved ones! Serve with tortillas and your favorite taco toppings!
3 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: how do you make barbacoa beef
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 322kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 3-4 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3-4 Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 4 oz green chiles diced
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice or juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Place chuck roast in a slow cooker and pour the beef broth (or water) over the top. Place the bay leaves on top of the roast.
  • In a medium bowl, combine chile adobo, green chiles, garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves. Mix well and pour over the top of the roast, spreading evenly. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  • Remove and discard bay leaves. Carefully transfer the roast to a cutting board and shred. Add the shredded meat back to the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately with tortillas and favorite taco toppings.


  • I highly recommend using broth over water for this recipe. It adds a flavor that water could never achieve. In a pinch, though, water works!
  • For extra heat, add a tablespoon or two of the chile adobo sauce (that the chiles sit in) into the crock pot when you add seasonings. 
  • Go low and slow with this beef for the most tender, juicy end result. Some processes are not meant to be sped up.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4mg