Chipotle Barbacoa Tacos

Chipotle Barbacoa from Against All Grain


The book is being printed, review copies will start arriving in the next two weeks, my site is being re-designed and I’m planning my big book launch party! It’s an exciting time in this household! Have you also heard that I am giving away a paid vacation to San Francisco to one lucky winner to attend my party and get a cooking lesson? Make sure you enter by July 15th!

In researching this dish for the purpose of writing this post, I found out that Barbacoa typically refers to whole sheep that are slow-cooked over an open fire or in a hole dug into the ground. The term to me, conjures up visions of the fast-food joint most of us know well. We actually love eating there when I’m short on time for dinner or we’re running out and about, but without the beans and rice in the burrito bowl, we’re usually left hungry afterwards. Even with a heaping scoop of $2 guacamole!

So it was time to recreate it and be able to make it at home with ease! Whole sheep, fire pits, and holes in the ground are not an option for us, so enter the slow cooker and a beef center shoulder roast! This version is so easy to make and tastes incredible on my tortillas or thrown on top of a big taco salad. Just throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and you’ll have dinner 8 hours later!

Chipotle Barbacoa by Against All Grain #paleo #grainfree


Organic Dried Chipotle Peppers

MycoLogical brand are the peppers that I buy. They sell them at our Whole Foods and also Lunardi’s which is a local market so they should be readily accessible. The kind in the can have a lot of additives, so look for dried. You can also find them online.

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Chipotle Barbacoa Tacos

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 480 mins TOTAL TIME: 495 mins


  • 3 pound center cut shoulder roast
  • 3 to 5 large dried chipotle peppers, seeds removed
  • ½ yellow onion
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ cup beef or chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • for serving: grain-free tortillas/crepes , avocado, cilantro, sliced radish, red onions


  1. Cut the roast into two pieces and trim any fat. Place in the pot of a slow cooker.
  2. Combine the chipotle peppers, onion, lime juice, tomato paste, garlic, vinegar, cumin, salt, and oregano in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour over the roast and add the stock, bay leaves, and cloves.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  5. Remove the beef and shred with two forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours, until really tender.
  6. Serve with your choice of toppings. We like avocado, radish, cilantro, and red onions.
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  • Rachel

    My meat would not shred? Where did I go wrong with cooking it?

  • Shannon

    I just made your chipotle barbacoa meat and home made tortillas. It turned out great! I’m so excited to have leftovers too! I live in a small town so I couldn’t find any dried chipotle peppers, but I subbed some chipotle spice and it worked fine. Thank you for all the grain free recipes! I have UC and have been gluten free for almost a year. I’m now trying out grain free to see if that will help my symptoms. Thank you!

  • Sherry D.

    I substituted a pork shoulder roast and Penzey’s chipotle powder and the results were outstanding! I used your recipe for tortillas and added guacamole … Yummm!!! I am making a salad tomorrow with the leftover meat, topped with salsa and more guacamole. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!!!

  • Nicole

    Followed everything had beef on low for 7 hours and it will not shred! Very tough even to cut into it! Any suggestions?

    • MamaLisa

      Ive had this happen before. When i cook the meat another hour or longer, then it shreds. Could be due to the temp of the crockpot, the size of the cut. Dont know.