Beef | Carne, Taco Recipes

Barbacoa de Res Taco Recipe

Barbacoa Tacos
Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa is one of my favorite tacos to order when out, and since it’s 2020 ordering in a restaurant has become a little harder, so I’ve moved on to making my own. Here’s a great barbacoa taco recipe you can make with your crockpot, it can also be enjoyed over rice. Some people are often confused on what barbacoa actually is, many times it’s with made beef, sometimes sheep, or lamb. The barbacoa we are focusing on is obviously beef, in Mexico depending on the location, the animal used can range from rabbit, turkey, and even iguana. Barbacoa is often cooked like a stew and slow cooked to bring out the flavors. For our Barbacoa tacos like most of our tacos we’ll make our own corn tortillas to start (flour is amazing too!) and we’ll use dry chiles purchased from my local Mexican grocer to make a puree for the meat to cook in. You can expedite the cooking process on this recipe by setting your crockpot high for 4 hours, but I do suggest cooking on low for 8 hours so that the meat is even more tender.

Ingredients – feeds 4-5 people

  • You’ll need a good cut of meat 4 lbs, chuck roast will work just fine, make sure to trim the fat.
  • 4 Roma tomatoes 
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles, remove the stems and seeds (dried black pepper)
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, remove the stems and seeds (dried red pepper)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 of a medium white onion, you’ll dice up the the other half for garnish 
  • 2 cloves garlic – no need to mince.
  • Cooking spray or use butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Pickled onions for toppings (optional)
  • Queso Fresco (optional)
  • Corn or flour tortillas (our guide to making corn tortillas)


  1. You wont believe how easy this recipe is to make, first let’s make the chile puree.
  2. Grab your four peppers and remove the stems and seeds.
  3. Grab a sauce pan deep enough for your 3 cups of water, water in, followed by 4 whole Roma tomatoes, and dried chiles. Cover the pan on high heat and bring everything to a boil then simmer on low for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked through.
  4. While waiting for the chiles and tomatoes to cook prepare the other ingredients.
  5. Grab your onion, cut into two halves, set aside one half and dice for garnish. The other half is going into your blender so you wont have to worry about finely chopping it. 
  6. Let’s blend your ingredients: half of the onion, 2 cloves of garlic in, oregano, cumin, season with salt, followed by the cooked chiles, tomatoes and the water. Set the blender to “puree”
  7. For the crockpot grease the inside with either butter or cooking spray.
  8. For the beef: trim any fat from the beef and cut into chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Place the beef inside of the crockpot and pour your blended chile puree over, throw in two bay leaves.
  10. Set the crockpot low for eight hours or high for 4 hours.
  11. With your last 45 minutes of cooking, start to remove the meat and shred with two forks, add the shredded meat back into the puree and let it finish cooking.


  1. Use a slotted ladle to scoop the barbacoa into a tortilla, top the tortilla with chopped cilantro, and diced onion, if desired place pickled onions on top and crumble queso fresco to finish.
Barbacoa Tacos
Barbacoa Tacos

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