Rating: 4.5 stars 4.4
54 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 30
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0

This is as close to a certain big chain's barbacoa meat I have ever made! It is full of intense flavors such as garlic, cayenne, and sweet, smoky chipotle. Make sure you scale down the cayenne and serrano if you can't handle heat because this recipe is packin' lots of it! Serve on corn or flour tortillas garnished with cilantro and topped with lime cilantro rice (from this website), black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Recipe Summary

25 mins
6 hrs 1 min
6 hrs 26 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over low heat, gradually increasing heat to medium-high. Add beef chuck pieces; cook until browned, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer beef to a slow cooker.

  • Combine apple cider, chipotle peppers, lime juice, garlic, cumin, serrano pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and ground cloves in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Pour over beef in the slow cooker.

  • Stir chicken broth, onion, and bay leaves into the slow cooker.

  • Cook on Low until beef is fork-tender, 6 to 8 hours. Shred beef using 2 forks.

Cook's Note:

I cook everything extremely spicy so my addition of cayenne and serrano peppers may or may not be spicy to you. If I was a normal person this measurement might be different but written as is it's very hot!

Nutrition Facts

244 calories; protein 21.6g; carbohydrates 7.3g; fat 14.1g; cholesterol 71mg; sodium 448.9mg. Full Nutrition