Authentic Beef Barbacoa Recipe-The Blissful Blogger

This is the most authentic and delicious  Barbacoa recipe which is tender and slow-cooked meat that will cherish your moments and can be used with variations of food like tacos, burritos, sandwiches, quesadillas, and salads. In modern times barbacoa can be prepared in the oven, open fire, or slow cooker So, let’s get started.

Why Barbacoa called Barbacoa

Barbacoa is a form of cooked meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taino people, who called it by the Arawak word barbaca, from which the term “barbacoa” derives, and ultimately the word “barbecue“. For more information about barbacoa, you can read this out.

What is Authentic Barbacoa Recipe? 

Barbacoa can be found all across Mexico. Authentic Mexican barbacoa features meat, typically lamb but sometimes beef or goat wrapped in banana or agave leaves, and is slow-cooked over an open flame or in an underground oven lined with hot coals. The underground prepared barbacoa is the most tender and juicy version that turned out most delicious.

Read more: Double Cheeseburger with Flavorful Sauce

Expert Tips for Perfect Barbacoa Recipe 

  • The meat must be kept at room temperature first before cooking in the slow cooker.
  • The best quality of meat is the chuck roast. It is available commonly in grocery stores and for this recipe, it works perfectly. Chuck Roast has a lot of flavors with connective tissues that make it perfect for braising, slow cooking, and pressure cooking. When you cook on slow flame the meat will become more tender and juicy.

Barbacoa Recipe

  • The best thing to enhance the flavor is to add chipotle to your barbacoa recipe. These are the dried and smoked jalapeno chilies.
  • Most people put the ingredients as a whole in the slow cooker but you can make a paste for all the ingredients and add them to the slow cooker and start cooking.
Barbacoa Recipe

Barbacoa Recipe-Authentic Beef Barbacoa

The Blissful Blogger
Barbacoa is a method of cooking meat (historically lamb or goat, though you can get beef as well), that produces tender and juicy results. It is traditionally steam-cooked underground, but modern barbacoa can be prepared on an open fire, in a slow cooker, or on a stove.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 50 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Slow cooker
  • 1 large pot (for serving)


  • 4 pounds Beef (chuck roast)
  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • 4 Chipotle (finely sliced)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (roasted)
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice (fresh)
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar (you can add apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder (ground)
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves (ground)
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 3/4 cups Beef Stock
  • Chopped coriander or cilantro
  • Roasted and crisped Onions
  • Lime slices as wedges
  • Vegetable oil (as required)


  • It's time to make a puree. Take a blender and add your onion, chipotle, garlic cloves, fresh lime juice, vinegar, ground cumin powder, dried oregano, salt, chili powder, and black pepper in it. Now put this puree with your meat and then add bay leaves and beef stock to it. You can add your ingredients as a whole in the slow cooker at once.
  • Close the slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours on low, until the beef is fully apart and tender.
  • Remove the Bay leaves and then take out the meat from your slow cooker. Now take two forks and shred them.
  • After shredding the meat put it again in the slow cooker and let it simmer for at least 10-15 minutes so that it will absorb more flavors and become more juicy and tender.
  • Now remove it from the flame and serve it with toppings of sprinkled crispy brown onions, chopped coriander, or cilantro and add a few chipotles at it.
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Barbacoa Recipe Variation with Different Food

Barbacoa is a multi dish as it can be used in many recipes to enhance the flavor and additional deliciousness. There are different recipes through which you can enjoy the perfect and tender barbacoa.

Whenever you want to eat a taco the first thing that comes to your mind is trying it with different stuffing and flavors. Here is the perfect barbacoa tacos recipe you can enjoy and love the most.

Barbacoa Recipe

Barbacoa beef sliders are a perfect and fantastic idea to enjoy the juiciest and most flavorful burger with a combination of sauces and spices. This is the authentic recipe for a barbacoa slider you can make and enjoy.

When it comes to something unique and big then barbacoa quesadillas are a must-try. The flavor of tender meat along with spices and cheese will give a wonderful flavor.

There is a lot of variation in salads but my favorite is the avocado and barbacoa salad bowl. There is a mixup of fresh veggies and avocado mash along with the juicy beef barbacoa.

Storing Your Barbacoa

when you finish making your barbacoa recipe then you can have some options.

  • Freezing: You can freeze this barbacoa recipe for up to 2 – 3 months.
  • Storing: You can store this barbacoa in the refrigerator for at least 5 days in an airtight container and jar.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What does barbacoa beef taste like?

Beef barbacoa is a slightly tangy flavor but is spicy as well. It is not so chili hot but a slight and fair amount of chili is present due to chipotle as well.

2. What is authentic barbacoa?

Beef barbacoa is a traditional dish that is prepared in an underground oven on a slow flame. The slower in cooking the juicier it will turn out.

3. What goes with beef barbacoa?

Beef barbacoa can be served with rice or fresh veggies as well. You can also go with corn, beans, spring onions, tomatoes, avocadoes, and some chopped cilantro.

4. What is the difference between steak and barbacoa?

Steak refers to beef only but barbacoa refers to beef, goat, or lamb.

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