Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos!

These flavor packed, knockout tacos are SO EASY and delicious. It brings authentic taqueria flavors to your family taco night. These can be made in the crock pot or pressure cooker and with a variety of different cuts. Read below for recipe adjustments by cut and method!

The Supply List:

  • 2-3 Pounds of Wild Earth Beef Tongue, Beef Cheeks, Brisket Point, or Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tbls Vegetable oil
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Medium onions, chopped, divided
  • 2/3 C + 1/4C braising liquid - beer, water, or beef stock/broth
  • 5 Cloves garlic, smashed, chopped
  • 3-5 Chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 1 4oz Can chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 C Fresh lime juice
  • 1 Orange, juiced
  • 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 Tsp Black pepper, plus more
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground cloves

The Steps:

Prepare the Beef: Cut the roast into 4-5 large chunks or pat dry the cheeks. Season with salt and pepper. If you're using tongue, you can skip these steps. It does not need to be seared before adding to the pot. 

Prepare the Sauce: In a blender (best) or food processor (won't be as smooth), add 1 onion, 2/3C braising liquid, garlic cloves, chipotle chilies, green chilies, lime juice, vinegar, and all spices. Do not add the bay leaf yet. Blend until completely smooth. Adjust seasonings and heat to taste.

Cooking: Turn pressure cooker to Sauté or heat a heavy bottom pan stove top, and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, brown the pieces well on all sides, working in batches. It's important not to crowd the pan while searing. Set beef aside. Add 1 chopped onion and lightly saute 2 minutes  then pour in the 1/4C of liquid and scrape the bottom with a wooden or stiff spatula. Once the bottom is clear, Add all beef back to the pot, bay leaves, and pour over with sauce and stir to coat. Turn off, switch to High Pressure, Close the lid, turn vent to “Sealing”

Instant Pot/ Pressure Cooker Timing

  • Tongue: 1 HR 20 MIN, full natural release
  • Roast and Cheeks: 1 HR, natural release at least 15 MIN before carefully switch to "Venting"

Crock Pot Notes: 

  • Roasts and Cheeks: Sear all sides in a heavy bottom skillet, set on low for 8 hours
  • Double the braising liquid to 1 1/2 cups



 For roast and cheek meat you can pull apart with forks in the pot, mix in well with the sauce, discard the bay leaves. For the tongue, simply move to a cutting board and peel off the outer layer.. it should come very easily. Then slice into 1" rounds and fork apart. Return to the sauce and mix well. 

Right before serving, heat a cast iron skillet with a bit of oil. Using tongs, remove some of the meat from the pot, (allowing some of the sauce to drip off) and do a quick, crisping sear on the meat before loading into you tortillas with some of the sauce from the pot. This step is completely optional but really enhances the overall texture. 

The flavor will continue to develop over time, making it a great dish to make in the morning or the day before. The shredded beef is perfect for tacos, nachos, or in omelettes!


We like using street taco tortillas! 

Optional toppings:

  • Salsa verde
  • Lightly pickled red onions
  • Crumbled Cojita cheese
  • Chopped Cilantro 
  • Raw diced red or yellow onion
  • Sliced avocado
  • Wedges of lime
  • Thinly sliced red cabbage







Rachel Wilson

I made Barbacoa using beef cheeks and they turned out wonderful. Thank you for the recipe Rachel!

Rachel Wilson

I cant wait to try this recipe!

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