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Chipotle Barbacoa - Copycat Recipe

Updated on June 8, 2017
Chipotle's barbacoa? Yes, please!
Chipotle's barbacoa? Yes, please!
5 stars from 1 rating of Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

If you're a big fan of Chipotle's beef barbacoa, you'll love this recipe. It tastes just like the barbacoa at Chipotle and is really easy to prepare. This version contains slightly less fat than the version served up at Chipotle but is definitely just as delicious.

The step-by-step instructions given below have a very short prep time, but the meat does take about six hours to cook (most of the cook time is just low simmering.)

This is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker, which can be started up around noon and will be ready at dinner time. You can use the barbacoa to make your own burritos, tacos, taco salad, or anything else you can dream up.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 6 hours
  • Ready in: 6 hours 20 min
  • Yields: Serves 10 people 1/2 pound of barbacoa


1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons lime juice
4 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce)
5 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds beef roast
1 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

Cut the beef roast into smaller portions. (I cut it into four steaks.)
Cut the beef roast into smaller portions. (I cut it into four steaks.)
Lightly brown each side of the steaks
Lightly brown each side of the steaks
Mix the sauce for the barbacoa in a blender until it's smooth.
Mix the sauce for the barbacoa in a blender until it's smooth.
Add the sauce and bay leaves to the pot with the beef
Add the sauce and bay leaves to the pot with the beef
Take out the bay leaves. With a fork, pull apart the beef into shreds.
Take out the bay leaves. With a fork, pull apart the beef into shreds.

Step 1: Cut the beef into smaller portions (four pieces.) In a large Dutch oven, add the vegetable oil and lightly brown each side of the beef portions.

Step 2
: In a blender, add lime juice, chipotle peppers, apple cider vinegar, garlic (I used canned minced garlic), cumin, salt, oregano, black pepper, chicken broth, and ground clove and blend until smooth.

Step 3: Pour blended mixture over the beef portions and add bay leaves.

Step 4: Cover and simmer for 6 hours. Flip the meat every hour in order to cook evenly. The barbacoa is finished when you can easily pull apart the meat. If the meat is too hard to shred, it needs to simmer longer.

Step 5: Using a fork, pull apart the meat into shreds. You should also fish out the three bay leaves. Do not strain (the sauce is just too yummy to discard.) This recipe serves 10 people 1/2 pound of barbacoa each.

Mmm homemade beef barbacoa
Mmm homemade beef barbacoa | Source

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Ways to Enjoy Barbacoa

To make Chipotle-style burritos, use large flour tortillas and add rice, beans (or refried beans), barbacoa, salsa (or pico de gallo), cheese, lettuce, sour cream and be sure to load up on the guacamole! Tortilla chips make a great side to a burrito. You can add the beef barbacoa to tacos or even enjoy as a topping for taco salad.

If you're more of a taco person (like me), then go for the smaller tortillas and throw in your favorite toppings. Corn salsa, anyone?

To make a taco salad with the barbacoa, just create an open-faced burrito: toss all your favorite toppings on a pile of tortilla chips and enjoy!

This makes amazing leftovers, so you'll definitely want to save it. Store extra barbacoa in a plastic container and put it in the refrigerator. You can reheat it on the stove or on half-heat in the microwave.


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    • starchet profile image

      Chetan Jariwala 4 years ago from San Jose

      Yummy... I think people can modify it according to their taste.... great recipe

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I had no idea what the heck this was when I read the title so I had to come and have a look :) This looks and sounds delicious. I just got a new crock pot so I'll be trying your recipe soon. The only ingredient I may have a hard time finding is the chipotle peppers, but I love a challenge and will try to hunt them down.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Looks great! We don't have a Chipotle around here. I like trying copycat recipes, though. Thanks for sharing this one!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I love Chipotle's barbacoa so I cannot wait to try this one. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am thoroughly intrigued by this recipe and simply must try it.

      Thanks for sharing this with us. I'll let you know how it goes.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Socially shared.