Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa

Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. 

My sister clued me in to this recipe.  We both get a quarter of beef every year.  And we are both astonished that the quarters seem to have, like 87 chuck roasts.  Well, one less today!  

I love it when I get to taste a new recipe before I make it. Yes, I wish I could share a bite with you!  But will it help if I tell you that this was a hit in two families?

Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. 

I had never heard of Barbacoa before, so I decided to look it up.  Per the Encyclopedia Britannica, Barbacoa is “a method of cooking meat that originated in Mexico… Traditionally, lamb or goat is slow roasted for several hours in a pit that is topped with maguey leaves… seasoning, marinades and spices are often added during the cooking process”

Yum!

Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven

The recipe, based on one from The Real Food RDs (my sister is a registered dietitian), was designed for a slow cooker.  But staying in my “cabin up north,” well, I didn’t have a slow cooker.  But a Dutch Oven worked great. 

I do need to warn you about one thing.  The smell of this cooking nearly drove me crazy. So I was seriously excited when it was finally cam out of the oven. My first reaction was that this would be amazing in a Chimichanga.  But since I’m still low-carb, it was lettuce leaves for me.  Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. 

The final product is very versatile and could be used in tacos or buriitos, stuffed into lettuce leaves or used in a rice bowl or salad. 

Gotta love versatile!

Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. 

Shredded Beef Barbacoa

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Slow Cooker or DutchOven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacosor lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. 

Ingredients

  • Optional: 1 T oil
  • 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes and trimmed of fat
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika,
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • Juice from 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water or stock

Instructions

Optional first step: Salt, then in two batches, brown beef cubes in oil in your Dutch oven. Deglaze the pan with the water or stock

Place all (remaining) ingredients in the Dutch oven or slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Place lid on. Cook in slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours or until meat is tender and shreds easily. If using a Dutch oven, cook at 300 F for about 4 hours until very tender.

When meat pulls apart easily, remove from pan and shred the beef with two forks. Discard the bay leaves and stir the sauce in. If there is enough flavorful crust on the pan sides, optionally deglaze with a little water. Add to the sauce and meat mixture and if too wet, return to pan and simmer briefly.

Serve with tortillas or lettuce leaves, garnishing with your choice of chopped tomatoes, onions, avocado, lime, cilantro …

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 43g

Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.

Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal. Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa has loads of flavor & a little kick. Stuff tacos or lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten-free meal.

8 thoughts on “Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven Shredded Beef Barbacoa

    1. Inger Post author

      Isn’t that a great option! Someday I’m going to collect a list of things that are good on lettuce leaves too.

  1. David Scott Allen

    Yes, please! I just bought a lot of chuck roast from the farmers market, and plan to grind some of it, but could definitely make Barbacoa out of the rest of it! Love the recipe, and that I can use my neighbor slow cooker (while she’s in Idaho for the summer). In Arizona, we try not to have the oven on that long during the summer!

    1. Inger Post author

      I’ve put the slow cooker outside even in Wisconsin on occasion! I can’t imagine what I’d do in Arizona David!

    1. Inger Post author

      I so need to try sous vide. If the pandemic goes on too much longer, maybe that would be a good (October) birthday present to myself!

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