These are amazing barbacoa tacos that you can easily make from home. Now on to an update on the book.
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 barbacoa tacos 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!
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.
Ceri @Natural Kitchen Adventures
This looks stunning – I love pulled pork and pulled lamb. Looking forward to trying pulled beef! Just a quick question – I have chipotle powder (bought on a recent holiday in the USA – I live in London). How much powder would you recommend if using instead of the whole dried peppers? They are difficult to get hold of here! Thanks so much and best of luck with the book launch
Against All Grain
I don’t know I haven’t used the powder, so I would say just add it a teaspoon at a time until you like the way it tastes.
Chipotle powder is really spicy. I use it all the time in chili. I would star with 1/4 teaspoon first, then proceed from there. I like spice and
1/4 t is all I need for 8 cups of chili.
Ceri @Natural Kitchen Adventures
Thank you – will give that a go!
Ceri @Natural Kitchen Adventures
Thanks Danielle – will give that a go!
Hi Ceri, I just saw your comment about Chipotle powder. There is a stall at the Borough Market that sells all sorts of Mexican foods/spices including Chipotle powder. Their brand is Cool Chile Co. I am also sure you can get it online too! Happy cooking 😀
Thanks for posting this. I eat at Chipotle quite regularly and always order the barbacoa bowl. I can’t wait to mix it with avocado, cilantro, rice (can’t live without it) and beans!
Danielle, I love the spices that you cook with! All of your recipes look like they are bursting with flavor. I love barbacoa and I think I’ll have to make this along with your tortillas. I’ve been having a huge hankering for tacos. Thanks!
Barbacoa tacos from “that” favorite fast food place are my favorite too! I can’t wait to try this myself. It looks so delicious.
I’m in Ontario Canada. I have never eaten this before, but it sure looks delicious. A must try.
Hmm… In San Antonio, barbacoa is typically made from cow head, I’ve never heard of sheep being used. Learn something new every day, I guess!
I love the idea of not having to be bothered with the head of a cow, using a cut of meat that I can find at the butchers counter that tastes like barbacoa is very appealing. This is totally going on my list of recipes to try!
I don’t have any beef but I want this for dinner tonight! I’m going to try it with pork!
FYI, I did this recipe with a pork loin roast yesterday and it was AWESOME! Can’t wait to try it with beef, but if you’re in a pinch like I was, it’s delish with pork too.
Betty J. Wilton
Do you have a recipe for the grain free tacos, and if so, will you share it please????
Against All Grain
Here’s the recipe for my fish tacos, but you can change it up and use the barbacoa instead and it’s great also 🙂
I can’t wait to try it. And I probably won’t wait long because my husband found this post and specifically requested it! Thanks for the recipe. We love your site
Wow! These were wonderful! Made them today and just finished eating. They were a huge hit with everyone! Didn’t have any cloves, so used a stick of cinnamon instead.
I made these tacos yesterday with buffalo stew meat and they were DELICIOUS!! I made an avocado/tomato salsa to go with. Definitely will make again and again.
This is very yummy, and way, WAY spicier than the chain restaurant version (and I made mine with 3 dried peppers, not 5). It is actually too spicy for me to eat (I eat the chain version with no problem whatsoever, heat-wise), but my family likes a little more heat, so I’m hoping it’ll be right on for them. Even my husband-who likes spicy foods-said it might be too much for him all by itself. I’m really banking on all the condiments helping to ameliorate the heat.
Yay! Everyone in my family LOVED it! This may become an annual Father’s Day tradition…
We made this beef for dinner last night and it was AWESOME!! Served it with some cilantro lime cauliflower “rice” and topped with salsa and avocado…even better than Chipolte!
How long will the tortillas last? I am wondering if I could make them ahead and use them for lunches on the beach?
I just put it in the crockpot now, but instead of beef I used bison. I was out of oregano, so we shall see if that makes a bit of difference. The sauce after being processed smelled AMAZING!!!!
I look forward to getting home from work and enjoying this new dish!!
I love your site!!
Would you tell me about the bowl that is in this picture? What make is it?
Follow up to my previous post: I made this the other night and it was great BUT the family thought it was too “clove-y”. I plan on making again but without the cloves (just our preference). The meat was WAAAY tender and it shredded up nicely. The rest of the sauce was very deep and intense with the chipotle peppers and cannot wait to make again! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!
Made this recipe this week, and it was a winner! We didn’t have dried chipotles on hand, just dried fred chillies, so used those instead and it was still delicious. I haven’t been successful in making your tortillas (I can never flip them!), so we just had this like a taco salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, green onions)…yummy.
The next day I ate leftovers with just avocado – and it was equally tasty. People at work commented on how good it smelled!
Ooops…that should say dried ‘red’ chillies…not fred chillies!
Thanks so much for this delish dish!! I made and served tonight and have finally found a meal that will replace my cravings for mexican tacos!!! Sooooo yumm! Both the meat and tortillas!! I also was inspired by the fish taco recipe and made the avacado crema, pico de galla, and added some shredded cabbage. It turned out great. This will be my go to recipe for taco night from now on. Thank you!! 🙂
I would be interested to know if this recipe freezes well. Anybody try that yet?
I made this tonight and it was delicious, I love all of your recipes, they are so easy and the ingredients are usually stuff you already have at home. I can not wait to get my book in the mail.
I’m so excited to have found your website! We’re new to eating Paleo (just got done with our Whole30!) and I’ve been loving looking at your site! Can’t wait to try this barbacoa with your tortillas! My family says THANK YOU! -Julie
This was so great! I happily woke up this morning and enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast. Thanks for such yummy recipes!
Did you make the tortillas (fresh)? If so is there a recipe?
Did you make the tortilla fresh? If so is there a recipe?
Against All Grain
Here’s the recipe! https://againstallgrain.com/2013/01/26/crepes-grainfree-paleo/
Made this as well as the tortilla recipe for the Paleo Fish Tacos and the combo was a hit. Had grand plans to make the avocado crema and top with shredded cabbage etc but settled with a load of barbacoa on a tortilla and some smashed avocado. Totally hit the spot and felt like we were having legit tacos. Very happy with how easy the tortillas were to make and I really think spicing them up the way you instructed was the key to them not tasting too coconuty. Thank you so much for making eating at home and staying paleo that much more enjoyable!
These were great! I the seeds in the chipotle peppers and it gave a nice kick of heat that may be too much for most people, but we like our food hot in Texas. The wife liked how lean these tacos were when compared to fattier tacos like my favorite…..carnitas! Overall we thoroughly enjoyed these. Thanks for sharing!
I made this today and it was amazing. It was better than the best barbacoa I’ve ever had. The flavors are spot-on, and you’ve got to have it with the radishes! The tortillas were interesting, like mexican crepes. Great recipe!
From our grass fed cow in the freezer, we have a round roast and a chuck roast. Could either of these be used instead of the shoulder roast? I’m a vegetarian cooking for a house of meat eaters, so I’m not sure about this 🙂 Thank you in advance!
Against All Grain
Either should work!
I don’t have a crock pot, but I was just given a pressure cooker. How long would you suggest cooking the meat?
Against All Grain
I have no idea, I’ve only tested it with a crock pot, sorry!
I love this recipe! It’s definitely on my list of must haves in the fridge at all times!
This was so good the first night and for lunches. And since I still had leftovers, I decided to use it and make a quick chili, used bacon cheese, sour cream and avocado as toppings. Just YUM! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you.
This was super easy to make. I blended up the tomato/spice blend the night before and just put the crock pot on in the morning and had a delicious dinner. I used Penzey’s chipotle powder and it was delicious. My only recommendation is to make extra so you can have leftovers!
I’m on SCD and am wondering if the tomato paste could be replaced or omitted?
I made this once with some rehydrated sundried tomaotes. It turned out fantastic! They were from my garden so they didn’t have any preservatives. Just check the brand you get. I put them right in the food processor or blender with all the other ingredients and it whipped up nice and smooth.
One thing I learned about this recipe……my peppers were large enough, I didn’t need to add a “couple” more, I can’t feel my lips!! Also, don’t skimp on meat cause it’s on sale….would not shred just chunk. Flavor wise it was good. 🙂
I don’t have any chipotle peppers dried or powder… Can I use a different type of chile like California or Arbol? If so, how much?
My meat would not shred? Where did I go wrong with cooking it?
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!
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!!!
Followed everything had beef on low for 7 hours and it will not shred! Very tough even to cut into it! Any suggestions?
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.
Made this today – fantastic! I cooked mine in our InstaPot pressure cooker. My meat was frozen so I put it in for 35 minutes on the “meat” setting, then took it out trimmed the fat and followed the instructions above. After that I cooked it on the same setting for 45 minutes. Perfect and delicious! (I didn’t try the tortillas yet.)
I’ll definitely make it again. Next time I’ll make double the sauce and put the second batch in the freezer for a quick meal.
So far I am batting three for three with your recipes: paleo bread, lasagne and this one. I will definitely get your cookbook.
OMG Good! Made these last night. Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait for the book.
This is definitely going on the meal plan next week! Mmm.
Fabulous Recipe. We ended up making enchiladas with the leftover meat and they were SUPER YUMMY! I’m sharing the recipe with everyone I know. 🙂
gosh, i thought this was pork! that’s what I bought, guess I’ll have to go with it! any thoughts on how much chipotle powder would be a good sub for the peppers?
Could I make this in the instant pot instead?
If you use the instant pot, how long would you cook it for?
These were better than restaurant tacos! Wow! I was limited on time so I made them in my Instant Pot. I browned the chuck roast a couple minutes on each side with a slight bit of olive oil on the sauté function. Then I added the sauce and everything on top to recipe. I pressure cooked it on high for 1 hour and quick released the pressure (though it could do the natural release too). Shredded very easily. Served with warm tortillas, shredded cabbage, cilantro, diced fresh tomato, and guacamole. Perfect!