Crock Pot Barbacoa

We had a pot luck at the gym last week and, as usual, members impressed with their serious culinary skills. People were practically licking the plate of carnitas that Courtney shared, and MJ wowed everyone with some paleo/primal/WLC-compliant ice cream (bananas, coconut milk, and pineapples) accompanied by some fancied up freezer fudge).

The past few potlucks, I’ve made pineapple chorizo meatballs, but needed something even less labor intensive. This beef barbacoa “recipe to feed a crowd” from The Kitchn is about the easiest thing to make for a big get-together or a weekly meal night. The added benefit is that it keeps very well (don’t tell the food safety police, but we just ate the last bit today, a week later. Rebels, I tell you.) and would freeze even better. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, you can easily buy everything you need for tacos.

I stuck with the basic recipe on The Kitchn, but omitted some things based on prior experience and my personal preference. I’ve actually mentioned it here before, but here are the full details.

Barbacoa Beef
Serves a lot!

  • 5-7# chuck roast (I used two pieces that weighed ~3# each)
  • 4 chipotle peppers (canned) in adobo, plus all the sauce they came in
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  • cloves from 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped (very coarsely)
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • dash of clove (optional) – and I mean a very dash
  • Juice from 4 limes
  • 5 bay leaves
  1. Blend everything except for the bay leaves and the chuck roast. Pour 1/3 of the the mixture in the bottom of the crock pot, add 2-3 of the bay leaves and then add the chuck roast. Pour the remainder of the mixture over the top of the chuck roast and add the 2 remaining bay leaves.
  2. Cook, on low, for 10-12 hours. Remove meat from juices and shred. Add about a few cups (more or less depending on your preference) of the liquid in the crock pot to the shredded meat. I then poured off the extra liquid from the crock pot and returned the shredded beef mixture to the pot and kept it on warm for a few more hours.
  3. Serve with the taco fixings of your choice!

Note: this recipe is very forgiving on cook times. I cooked on low for 10 hours (overnight) and then left it on warm for about 4 more hours before I shredded the meat. I kept the meat in the refrigerator for about an hour or two prior to the potluck, and then kept it on warm for another 4-5 hours. Because it’s like a stew, the longer it cooks the more the flavors have time to beldne together.

Leftovers are delicious as tacos, nachos, or on top of grits with a fried egg. Enjoy!

Barbacoa Grits Bowl


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