Crockpot Barbacoa Beef

by spiceaholic on March 4, 2012


Work’s about to get crazy busy for me, so my priority is making sure I don’t have to think about food during the week.  I try to make one dish that’ll provide enough leftovers to cover dinner for a few days.

Enter the slow-cooker.  The poor thing only gets broken out a few times a year, and I really need to make more use out of it. There are so many great recipes out there just waiting to be made.  Like this recipe for crockpot barbacoa beef.  I love the barbacoa beef at Chipotle and have been wanting to recreate it at home.  I saw quite a few versions of the recipe online, and really just picked the first one that looked good.

I can’t wait for all the faux burrito bols, tacos, and quesadillas that await me this week!

Crockpot Barbacoa Beef




3 lb. top round roast (I ended up with mock tender roast, which is used for pot roasts)

2 medium onions, cut into eighths

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. minced garlic (my tweak)

1 tbsp. cumin  (forgot to include in the picture!)

1 tbsp. oregano

2 tsp. chili powder (my addition)

1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use less if you want less heat)

2 cups beef broth

2 tbsp. white vinegar

3 bay leaves

salt to taste


1.  Place all ingredients except for beef and bay leaves in blender.  Blend on high speed until a chunky sauce consistency.




2. Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of a slow-cooker. Then add beef, bay leaves, and remaining sauce.



3. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Beef should be fork tender. Shred beef and mix into sauce.  Taste and add salt as necessary.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

sara March 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

This looks fantastic!! I love barbacoa beef, and I love making recipes in the crockpot – this is a real winner! 🙂

Bonnie K March 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for sharing! My daughter loves chipotle.

Greg August 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This recipe is excellent and so easy to make, thank you. July 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

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Dee January 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I made this and it is delicious! … but waaay too spicy!! I love spicy but this heat was crazy! I think a small can of chipotle pepper is excessive. Next time I’ll use just a few.

spiceaholic January 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Hi Dee!

Chipotles do pack some heat, don’t they? Sorry it was too spicy for you. Definitely adjust amounts for your taste, hope you’ll try it again!

Louie March 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I had tried with chipotle peppers but with red chili and other Mexican red peppers is tastier and more original

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Barbara August 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Great recipe! I agree that an entire can of chipotles is way too much. I put 3 whole peppers on top of the meat after it is in the crock for a mild spice. You could remove the seeds from the peppers before blending them, also, for lower intensity. I’ve tried gobs of barbacoa recipes, and this is BY FAR the best!

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