Beef Barbacoa (Barbacoa de Res)


Tender beef brisket in a flavorful guajillo sauce with Mexican seasonings. This is the quick pressure cooker version of the traditional recipe from Guadalajara, where the meat is slowly cooked in an underground oven. [Recipe originally submitted to]

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
6 servings


Pulled Beef:

  • 3 ½ pounds beef brisket

  • 1 white onion, halved

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 3 bay leaves

  • salt to taste

  • water to cover


  • 6 small guajillo chile peppers, seeded and deveined

  • 2 small ancho chile peppers, seeded and deveined

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 3 whole allspice berries

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

  • salt to taste


  1. Place brisket in a stovetop pressure cooker. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and salt; cover with water. Close cooker securely and place pressure regulator over vent according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat until steam escapes in a steady flow and makes a whistling sound, about 10 minutes. Adjust temperature until regulator is gently rocking. Cook for 60 minutes.

  2. Let pressure release naturally according to manufacturer's instructions, 5 to 10 minutes. Unlock lid and remove.

  3. Remove brisket from the pressure cooker and shred with 2 forks. Strain the cooking liquid, discarding solids. Measure 2 cups for the barbacoa sauce and save the rest for another use.

  4. Combine guajillo chile peppers and ancho chile peppers in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand in the hot water until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain.

  5. Combine softened chile peppers, vinegar, garlic, cloves, allspice, black pepper, oregano, thyme, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and reserved 2 cups cooking liquid; blend until thick and very smooth.

  6. Pour sauce into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and season with salt. Bring to a soft boil; reduce the heat to low. Stir in shredded beef, coating completely with sauce. Cover pot and cook until flavors combine, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of barbacoa sauce. The actual amount of sauce consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

173 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 173
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 1517mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 39mg 195%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 550mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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