Category Archives: Mexican

Beef Barbacoa

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If you’ve had traditional barbacoa, this is not that.  Traditional barbacoa is cooked in leaf-covered pits.  I have neither a cooking pit (yet) nor access to leaves from [somewhat] far away lands.  The truth is, I’ve never even eaten traditional barbacoa.  All the same, here’s my version for those of us who remain pit-less.  We use a pressure cooker here.  However, it can also be braised on the stovetop in a Dutch oven.  A slow cooker may also be used.

While the recipe calls for a chuck roast, I’ve also used cuts such sirloin tip — or even bottom round if it’s on sale.   Or… how ’bout some venison barbacoa?  Whoa.

This can be served various ways:  Inside a burrito or taco.  On top of a warmed corn tortilla, tostada, or fresh tortilla chips (my preferred delivery system).  On a salad. On its own with a side of beans and rice.  Or mixed in with rice as a sort of quick, Latin biryani.  Gasp!!

Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa


  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 recipe Red Chile-Chipotle-Sauce (makes about 5 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • Corn Tortillas


  1. Heat oil in 12" skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add roast and brown on all sides.
  3. If using a Dutch oven: Add 3 cups of Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce and bay leaf to beef to Dutch oven. Cover and simmer about 4 hours, until tender.
  4. If using a pressure cooker: Place beef in pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce and bay leaf. Set to high pressure cook for 90 minutes, using a quick release.
  5. When the beef is finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl and shred using two forks. Mix in remaining Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce, to taste.
  6. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, lime, and warmed corn tortillas.