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Taco de Barbacoa Recipe: A Flavor Fiesta

Taco de Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of shredded meat. Typically the meat is either beef, goat, or lamb, and slowly cooked with seasonings and spices until perfectly tender. The meat is then shredded and used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes

The dish begins with major aromatics such as chopped onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves, and then the meat is slow-cooked in a crockpot for around 8 hours on the low setting. In our recipe, we are going with beef as the meat protein.

After slow cooking, the meat can easily be pulled with a fork, and is removed from the slow cooker and placed on a large work surface. After this, it is then returned to the crockpot with the juice of two limes plus fresh chopped cilantro, and stirred. This is then added to the tacos along with other flavours. Other toppings such as Pico de Gallo, Tomatillo Salsa, and Salsa can also be added to spruce up the tacos.

What is Special about Taco de Barbacoa?

  • Authentic Flavors: We’re sticking to the roots but adding a modern twist.
  • Slow-Cooked to Perfection: The meat is so tender, it practically melts in your mouth.
  • Versatile: Serve it at a family dinner or a fiesta with friends!


  • Beef chuck roast or brisket, 3 lbs
  • Guajillo and Ancho peppers, 2 each
  • Garlic cloves, 4
  • Cumin, 2 tsp
  • Oregano, 1 tbsp
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup
  • Lime juice, 1/4 cup
  • Beef broth, 1/2 cup
  • Bay leaves, 2

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Queso fresco or feta
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Lime wedges

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Preparation: Trim the fat from the beef and cut it into large chunks.
  2. Spice Blend: Blend peppers, garlic, cumin, and other spices in a blender.
  3. Marinate: Coat the beef chunks with the spice blend.
  4. Slow Cook: Place the beef in a slow cooker, add bay leaves, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Shred: Once tender, shred the beef with two forks.
  6. Assemble: Load up your tortillas and add your favorite toppings.

Pro Tips

  • Spice It Up: Add chipotle peppers for extra heat.
  • Cheese Choices: Queso fresco adds authenticity, but feta is a great substitute.
  • Slow and Steady: Cooking on low heat makes the beef more tender.


  1. Can I use lamb instead of beef?
  • Absolutely, lamb shoulder works great!
  1. How can I make it spicier?
  • Add more chipotle peppers or even some serrano peppers.
  1. What’s the best way to serve it?
  • Family style! Let everyone build their own tacos.


There you have it, amigos! The ultimate Taco de Barbacoa recipe that’s bound to make you the star of any gathering. Happy cooking! 🌮🎉 Please feel free to write in and give your feedback on the recipe.