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Slow-Cooker Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Shredded Beef
4.74 from 30 votes

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe {slow-cooker}

Garlicky, tender, shredded beef braised low and slow in a spicy, smoky, flavourful barbecue sauce.  Serve in burritos or with lime-cilantro rice.
Course Main Course, Slow-Cooker
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 105kcal
Author Rebecca Lindamood


  • 6 to 8 pounds boneless chuck roast trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 6 chipotles in adobo with sauce
  • 1 large white onion peeled and roughly chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth or lager beer
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar preferably raw
  • 1/4 cup lime juice preferably freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons oregano preferably Mexican oregano, but all oregano will do!
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves


Optional flavour building step:

  • Drizzle the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides in batches (you do not want to overcrowd the pan).
  • Cool the beef cubes completely before proceeding.~~~~

To Make the Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa:

  • Add the beef (whether you've browned it or not) to the crock of a slow-cooker. Add the chipotles in adobo, onion, garlic, broth or beer, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano, ground cloves, salt, and black pepper to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Toss the bay leaves on top of the beef, pour the contents of the blender over the contents, stir., and cover Let the beef stand overnight to marinate. In the morning, add the crock to the slow-cooker, turn the temperature to LOW. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH, or until the beef shreds very easily with a fork. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Use two forks to shred the meat in the sauces.

To Serve:

  • Serve the shredded Barbacoa with sauces over rice, in corn tortillas with onion and cilantro, in burritos, soups, on nachos, or just with a fork!


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 299mg | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg