crockpot barbacoa

Barbacoa 2Over the past year or so, I’ve been making a conscious effort to bring lunch to work more often than not.  The reasons for this are pretty obvious – it saves us money, I end up eating healthier, etc. etc.  That doesn’t mean it’s always easy.  Wednesdays are particularly difficult, since that’s the day I go on community outings with two of my classes! Once a week we take our students out into the community to practice different skills, including making simple purchases.  These outings pretty much always involve eating lunch out, and I usually give in and buy lunch with them.  I try to make up for this the other four days of the week :)

BarbacoaA few days ago, Daren made that an easy decision when he asked if we could make some barbacoa tacos to bring for lunch.  Our favorite barbacoa recipe yields something pretty similar to what you would get at a Chipotle – spicy, tender shredded beef flavored with chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and cumin.  I already had dinner planned for that night, but he had the awesome idea to prep the barbacoa after dinner and let it cook in the crockpot overnight.  The long, slow cook time in the crockpot lets the meat get really tender and helps the flavors all blend together.  We packed up some taco “kits” with tortillas, shredded cheese and sour cream the night before, then filled another storage container with some of the beef before leaving in the morning.  We both ate this for 2 lunches and a dinner, and were disappointed when it was finished!

In other news, today is LASIK day!  I’ll be heading in for LASIK surgery this morning and I can’t WAIT.  I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 8 and contact lenses since I was 12; I barely remember a time when I didn’t have them.  Although I DO remember my parents not believing me back in third grade when I told them I couldn’t see at school :)  Joke was on them because I have horrible eyesight! I seriously cannot see anything without my glasses or contacts.  I know it sounds clichè, but the idea of waking up in the morning and being able to see a clock is mind boggling.  I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time – fingers crossed that everything goes well!  Recovery time should be quick but I may not be able to spend long periods of time on the computer, so it might be a couple days before the next blog post.  See you then!


  • 2 lbs. chuck roast
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (include some sauce as well)*
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar (I forgot it this time and it didn’t seem to make a difference)
  • salt and pepper


Cut the chuck roast into cubes and pat the beef dry with a paper towel.  Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a skilled over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Once hot, brown the beef (in batches if need be).  Place the beef in the crockpot.

barbacoa beefAdd the onions, garlic, chipotle, cumin, oregano, cloves, and bay leaves to the crockpot.  Pour the chicken or beef stock over the ingredients, attempting to keep the beef submerged.  Cook the barbacoa on low for 8-10 hours.  At the end of the cooking time, stir in the white vinegar.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

We typically use the barbacoa to make tacos.  You can eat it however you prefer – in a burrito, over rice and beans.. whatever you’d like.

*I used double the amount of chipotle peppers listed here, and I felt like it was pretty spicy (I have a low tolerance for heat though).  I would use 2 peppers for a mild heat, 4 for medium and 5 or 6 for extra spicy.  Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can usually be found in cans in the Hispanic section of the grocery store, near the tortillas/taco sauce and things like that.  Either way, don’t leave them out; they really add great flavor to the dish!

Yield: about 6 servings

Source: Baked Bree

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  1. […] meats like pot roast and short rib (or this barbacoa) are some of Daren’s favorite foods, and this dish was no exception.  After browning the […]

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