Have you ever had a form of barbacoa before? These Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos capture all the flavors of this traditional Caribbean dish but make it easy to cook by using the slow cooker.
Barbacoa is a traditional Caribbean dish that utilizes any fatty cut of meat cooked low and slow with the flavors of the region; limes, cilantro, peppers, and cloves. Barbacoa does not have to be eaten as tacos. In fact that’s only a tradition that derived when the dish moved to Mexico. At Casa de Graham we like to serve it the traditional Mexican way with corn tortillas. I also love to use the meat to top sheet pan nachos or over SkinnyTaste’s Cilantro Lime Rice in a burrito style bowl. Much like Chipotle.
I cook my Barbacoa over a layer of white onion in the slow cooker and top it with the marinade that I’ve whipped up in my blender. The flavors and spices make the dish sing. Once the meat has cooked all day I shred it with forks and then return the meat to the slow cooker so it can sit in the juices. This step is VERY IMPORTANT or you will end up with dry meat. If you serve it out of a bowl on the table make sure to have plenty of the delicious juices to serve it with.
Now for cuts of meat. I use beef or elk usually. Whatever I have on hand. We’ve made these Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos before with venison and with pork. Basically any cut of meat that lends itself to a roast will work. For beef cuts traditionally beef chuck roast, brisket, or eye of round are good to use. If you use a leaner cut of meat such as a top round or venison roast then be sure to add some olive oil into the marinade. I would put an extra 2 tbsp. If you have a fatty cut of meat don’t do this step. As always I recommend my 6.5 qt All Clad Slow Cooker. It’s literally the best and I can’t say anything bad about it. I LOVE the size. It holds so much. If you are in the market for a new one or need one period beside to consider this one. It’s more pricey, I know but the functionality of it makes it wonderful to use. Use my affiliated link to check it out if you are interested. I only link to products I actually use and recommend. http://theanchoredkitchen.com/allcladslowcooker
I love to serve Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos with Cotija cheese (you can use feta cheese if you can’t find Cotija as they are very similar), lime wedges, cilantro leaves and pickled red onion. You can use cut up onion or shallot instead but the pickled onion really elevates the flavor of the beef. Try it it’s so easy to make.
In a large mason jar or bowl put in a while cut red onion (either sliced or diced) fill it halfway with tap water and halfway with apple cider vinegar. Add in 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp sugar. Put on the lid and shake it up. Allow this to pickle in the fridge for at least three hours but the longer it’s in there the better it will be.
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 1/4 C cilantro, stems are okay
- 4 lb roast (beef chuck roast, eye of round, brisket)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or use 1 more tsp reg. chili powder)
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 C beef stock
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 red onion, diced or sliced
- 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 C tap water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- Place the Cut red onion in a large mason jar or bowl. Add in the vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Put a lid on and shake the mixture then allow it to sit the fridge for at least three hours to pickle.
- In a large slow cooker, line the bottom with the slices of white onion.
- Layer in the roast.
- In a blender combine the cumin, cilantro, pepper, chili powder, lime juice, beef stock, cloves, chipotle peppers in adobo, & garlic cloves. Blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined. Pour over the roast.
- Set the slow cooker to low for 8- 10 hours. Or high for 5.
- Once done. Shred the meat with two forks, then put the meat BACK IN THE JUICES in the crock pot. Serve with the juices so that it doesn't dry out.
- We love to serve this with corn tortillas, cotija cheese (or feta), cilantro leaves, lime wedges, pickled onion, avocado, and sour cream.
Looking for other Slow Cooker Dishes to Serve During a Hectic Work Week?