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A bowl of shredded chipotle barbacoa beef with cilantro rice and pico de gallo
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4.92 from 12 votes

Barbacoa Chipotle Recipe

Chipotle Barbacoa beef cooked in a spicy, rich and tasty braising mixture until melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. This Barbacoa recipe can be made in the crock pot, Instant Pot, stove top or in the oven!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex
Keyword Barbacoa de res, Barbacoa de res recipe, Chipotle Barbacoa, Chipotle Barbacoa Beef, Mexican barbacoa recipe, Mexican beef barbacoa, Receta barbacoa de res
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 452kcal


  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce (Use 2 chipotle peppers if you don't like the dish too spicy)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 - 4 lbs chuck roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 bay leaves


To Make the Braising Liquid

  • Place the vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves in a small food processor or blender. Puree on high speed until smooth.

The Beef

  • Trim the extra fat from the meat and cut it into big chunks (about 2-2.5 inches pieces). Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper.
  • In a large heavy bottom pot or a Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat up the oil. Add the meat in batches and sear until golden brown.
  • Return all the meat to the pot and add the spicy braising mix over it. Add the broth and the bay leaves. Mix well to combine. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 hours or until the meat flakes easily; giving it a stir every 30 minutes during the cooking process.
  • Turn off the heat and shred the meat with a couple of forks (it should be tender enough to flake easily).
  • Before serving, let the shredded meat simmer over low heat for about 15 extra minutes.

Check the notes for instructions when cooking this recipe in the Slow Cooker. Instant Pot or Oven


    Cooking times will vary depending on cooking methods.
    • After searing the beef, place the meat in the crock pot. Pour in the braising liquid, broth and add the bay leaves. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. 
    • Make the braising liquid as instructed above. Cut the beef into 2-inch chunks and season them with salt and pepper. Set the Instant Pot to saute and heat the oil. Brown the beef in batches to prevent steaming. Remove the seared beef from the instant pot and press cancel.
    • Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck brown bits.
    • Return the beef to the pressure cooker, pour in the chipotle sauce (braising liquid) and bay leaves. Toss to combine.
    • Close the lid and seal the pot. Cook on high pressure for 65 minutes.
    • When the pressure cooking is done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 - 8 minutes. Turn the valve to venting and release the remaining pressure.
    • Remove the beef, shred it and return it to the Instant Pot.
    • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Dutch oven in the oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 hours, giving it a stir every 30 minutes during the cooking process.


    Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 814mg | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 5.7mg