pressure cookerRecipes

Beef Barbacoa (copycat recipe)

I stumbled upon beef barbacoa (copycat recipe) through my students obsession with a Mexican grill that I shall not name. They were constantly rushing out of class to try to make it there and back before lunch was over. Of course, the bright side of them catching my attention was that it encouraged me to check the place out. It was delicious and a dish I knew I wanted to make my way.

Of course, I have to thank my aunt for giving me the confidence to make this dish. It was one of the first meals we had from her pressure cooker . It was red and steamy. The house smelled delicious. I remember it like it was yesterday. She had a copycat beef barbacoa recipe and we were standing over the pressure cooker taste testing. Adding a little more of this and a little more of that. I love moments like that. We were all in the kitchen, cooking together, creating together. Those are great times.

This is not your traditional Mexican barbacoa. That involves beef cheeks (or goat) cooking over an open fire or in a hole in the ground for hours. This recipe uses a pressure cooker which steams the meat. You could also use a slow cooker. As with most stewed dishes as it sits in the seasoning it tastes better and better every day. It’s well seasoned and soul warming. Perfect for the cold weather we’ve been experiencing lately. This beef barbacoa (copycat recipes) is everything you could ask for from a great dish.

Beef Barbacoa

Makes 6 servings


  • 3-4 pounds of chuck roast
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • kosher sea salt & black pepper
  • cilantro (garnish)
  • red onion (garnish)

Tools: pressure cooker, food processor or blender


Season beef with sea salt and pepper.

In a heavy pan over medium high heat sear beef on both sides.

seared beef

Combine chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, and lime juice in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Turn pressure cooker to sauté and add onions.

Take chipotle mixture and spread it on beef.

Add beef to pressure cooker.

Pour beef stock over meat.

Set pressure cooker to high for 80 minutes (depending on your pressure cooker it can take anywhere from 60 minutes to 90 minutes) allow natural release.

If using a slow cooker, set to high for 6 hours.

Remove meat from pot. Using two forks gently pull apart.

Return meat to liquid and stir.

barbacoa bowl

We had our barbacoa over white rice and as a burrito. There are so many tasty ways to make a meal with this. What’s your favorite way to have it?



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