In the Kitchen: Barbacoa, Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos

These delicious shredded beef tacos can add some heat to your next gathering. Photo courtesy Craig Volpe.

Football season started several weeks ago, but football weather is just starting to settle in. So why not break out the slow cooker and prepare some warm food for your next tailgate? Chef Becky has a spicy dish to serve your guests and they can have the fun of building their own meal.

Barbacoa: Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos

5 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 8 to 10 pieces

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons oil

3 bay leaves


1/3 cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons lime juice

¾ cup chicken broth

4 teaspoons garlic

4 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

4 small chipotle chilies, in adobo

Other Components for your Taco Bar:

Corn tortillas

Fresh lime, cut into wedges

Raw onion, finely chopped


Mexican sour cream

Special tools: crock pot and blender

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the meat with kosher salt and black pepper. Sear the meat on all sides. You will need to do this in two batches. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of the crock pot. Place the seared meat on top of the bay leaves.

For the sauce, combine the cider vinegar, chipotle chilies, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, salt, pepper, and cloves in a blender. Blend until well combined.

Pour sauce over the meat. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours.

Remove meat from sauce and let cool for a few minutes. Be sure to find all 3 bay leaves and discard them. Shred the meat with your hands and then add it back to the sauce. Set the crock pot to “keep warm” and then prepare the other ingredients for your taco bar: onion, cilantro, steamed corn tortillas, and sour cream.

Serves 8

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