Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)

barbacoa beef in a bowl2

Back when my husband and I were undergrads, we actually had a pretty standard date night. Chipotle burritos + Cold Stone as dessert. Guess I was a relatively cheap date?!? How I was able to ingest that much food at one time, I am not sure. Oh to be young and on a sports team again! 🙂

These days, we still occasionally end up at Chipotle, although I’ve switched my preference to the burrito bowls (more room for toppings!). The thing that has not changed is my love for the barbacoa beef. It is SO GOOD! A couple of weeks ago, my husband was in charge of groceries for the week and came across a recipe from the Food Network that claimed to be a copycat of Chipotle’s barbacoa.  I have not done a side-by-side comparison with Chipotle’s barbacoa, but I can tell you that this recipe is awesome.

The recipe is your basic crockpot recipe and could not be easier. You brown the meat on each side and throw it in the crockpot with some Southwestern seasonings. I promise your house will smell incredible while this is cooking. One note about the chipotle peppers. I find that the heat level of the dish can get out of hand rather quickly with chipotle peppers. If you know you’re not in it for spice, you may want to add fewer peppers. Taking out the seeds also helps. Shred the meat once it is cooked, and you’re ready for dinner. I served ours like my favorite chipotle order – burrito bowl style with brown cilantro lime rice, black beans, sauteed veggies (to the crisp-tender stage), a bit of cheese, and some plain Greek yogurt. I had to take the pictures before I loaded on all my toppings because after I got everything in the bowl,  you couldn’t really see the meat. 🙂 That said, a burrito bowl is just our method, and this meat could be used in a million ways! Tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, burritos. Don’t even get me started on possible toppings. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)
Adapted from The Food Network

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. canola oil
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves
4-5 lbs. chuck roast

To make the adobo sauce, combine the vinegar, lime juice, chipotle chiles, garlic cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt, and cloves in a blender on high speed until smooth. Set aside.

Warm the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Trim any large pieces of fat from the roast. Cut the roast into 4-6 large pieces. Brown the meat on each side and place in the crockpot. Pour the adobo sauce over the meat. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves. Cook on high for 6 hours or all day on low. The meat will fall apart when cooked through.

When the meat is finished cooking, shred with two forks. Return the meat to the adobo sauce remaining in the crockpot. Serve or use as desired.


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