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Authentic Mexican Barbacoa Recipe

Tacos de Barbacoa is what we used to get on Sundays morning for breakfast. It would be either barbacoa de res or menudo. There are certain meals in Mexico that are used for special occasions. Mexican beef Barbacoa is definitely a good one after you had a lot of alcohol the night before. Even when beef is a heavy meal we Mexicans traditionally have it for breakfast if you have a bad hangover! With this authentic Mexican barbacoa recipe, you will find out that there is nothing like tacos de barbacoa with a salsa muy picante! adios a la cruda!

tacos de barbacoa

Barbacoa de Res in English Recipe!

I need to be honest and tell you that I almost died when I saw other recipes in English for barbacoa de res. My grandma could die again if she could see us cooking The Authentic Barbacoa recipe in Instant Pot. Just kidding I wish she was still here she would adore having an electric pressure cooker to make this amazing recipe I learned from her.

Beef barbacoa recipe

The truth is that the traditional Mexican barbacoa recipe varies a lot depending on the zone of Mexico. The barbacoa de res estilo jalisco is very famous. It is served with beef broth which is amazing but in other parts of Mexico like in the north, Durango, and Chihuahua we will have it in tacos without the broth. Tortas and burritos de barbacoa are also very popular for breakfast on the weekends.

Mexican beef barbacoa

I am from the north of Mexico, Chihuahua, and the barbacoa de hoyo is very traditional, especially in ranches. In the ranchos of Mexico, you will see people making the barbacoa but with goat beef. It tastes spectacular. They make holes in the dirt, set a fire in them, and then wrap the marinated meat in maguey leaves and cook them there.

authentic barbacoa

The maguey brings so much flavor. It has been difficult for to me find maguey in supermarkets in the United States. If you find them you need to toast them a little bit on a grill and then just place them under the beef when cooking. Is your mouth watering yet? 

I know it might sound funny but many cultures such as Hawaiians, Maoris in NZ, and other groups cook in holes made in the dirt.  

Now you start to understand why my Abuelita could die to see us cooking in Instant pots LOL I am just kidding. She would be so jealous! And would have been the first one to have an electrical pressure cooker to make barbacoa, without so much work. ​​​​​​​

Mexican beef barbacoa

Well, let’s get started with this recipe…

Mexican beef barbacoa

What do I need to make Mexican Beef Barbacoa

These portions are for 6 people. These are the ingredients you need to make an authentic Chihuahua- Durango style Barbacoa (North of Mexico barbacoa recipe)

  • 2 guajillo chile​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • 1 Red hot chili (chile de arbol)
  • ½ teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano
  • ½ onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Salt
  • 6 whole black pepper
  • 3 Bay leaves​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • 2.5 pounds of beef shank, chuck roast, or beef brisket. I go for beef shank for a low-fat version and would use chuck roast for decadent barbacoa.
Mexican beef barbacoa

How to Make Barbacoa de Res Step by Step

We are going to start by making the barbacoa marinade. If you only need the barbacoa sauce, check out this recipe. The secret here is to toast the dried chiles, garlic, and onion.

  • Start by placing the guajillo and red chili on a hot griddle. let them toast for about 3 seconds on each side. If you can smell them you are late! this need to be very fast they burn really easily. If they burn use new ones.
Mexican beef barbacoa
  • Toasting the chiles helps to bring out certain oils that change the chili flavor and make it tastier.
  • On the same griddle toast the garlic and onion or you can just air fry them for a couple of minutes.
  • Put all the toasted ingredients in the blender together with 1 tsp of oregano 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tbsp of salt, 6 black peppercorns, and 3 bay leaves.
barbacoa ingredients
  • Add 1 cup of water and blend everything very well.

With the sauce, you created marinate the meat for one night in the refrigerator. If you don’t have time, don’t worry, I have prepared it without marinating and it is still very tender and delicious, so if you marinate it, it will be gourmet (almost like barbacoa de Hoyo)

Mexican beef barbacoa
  • Put the meat in the Instant Pot together with the marinade and activate the Meat / Stew button in your Instant Pot and let it cook.
  • Once it is finished and you can open the pot, let the meat cool a little and crumble it. There you have your healthy barbacoa… do you want to know the secret of the barbacoa street tacos? They actually fry the beef!
beef barbacoa tacos

Do you want to take your barbacoa tacos to another level of flavor (and cholesterol)? Drop some oil in the pan and fry the shredded beef. There you have the most amazing and traditional barbacoa homemade by yourself! Awesome! need some help to ensemble the barbacoa tacos? check out this post!

Mexican street barbacoa tacos

What to do with the beef broth

As I told you some people serve the barbacoa with some broth. In Chihuahua, we have it dry and we have the broth apart. So to make a barbacoa broth soup follow these instructions:

  • Add to the barbacoa juice or broth 5 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and taste to add more to taste if needed.
  • 1/2 onion
  • Now set the Instant Pot in the soup cooking option., if you are making thin on the stovetop just let it boil all together for 20 minutes.
  • When you serve it sprinkle some chopped cilantro, and fresh onion on top! do not forget to squeeze some lime into it. Some people also like to add cooked chickpeas to this broth same as they do with Birria consomé.

The barbacoa is a consommé to lick your fingers, you can add cooked chickpeas and there you have the next day’s food.

Mexican birria recipe

What kind of beef should I use to cook Mexican Barbacoa Tacos de Res

The type of beef I use depends on how I want to prepare it. If you are looking for a low-fat and healthy barbacoa recipe, beef shank is the option. If you are looking for a more decadent taste you can use

  • Beef brisket: It is very delicious and soft, I try to cut off the extra pieces of fat.
  • Chuck roast or Pot roast chuck roast. 
  • Beef Cheeks
  • For goat meat, ask the butcher for a mix of ribs, loin, and shank.
  • Lamb meat

For this recipe, I used chuck roast and it worked perfectly and was delicious.

Barbacoa

How to cook barbacoa of res in Pressure Pot or Instant Pot

The first thing is to season in this barbacoa sauce preferably leaving it to marinate from the night before. If you do not have time do not worry just put everything in the amounts mentioned in the pot and it is delicious in any way.

Once the pot reaches the indicated pressure, it takes about 30 minutes to cook the meat for the barbecue. If you are using Instant Pot put it in the Meat / Stew function.

Mexican beef barbacoa

Once the pot reaches the indicated pressure, it takes about 30 minutes to cook the meat for the barbecue. If you are using Instant Pot put it in the Meat / Stew function.

Mexican beef barbacoa

How to steam

Place the marinated meat on a large piece of foil. Wraps the marinated beef in the aluminum and closes the edges very well so that the steam cannot escape and much more importantly the juice. Steam for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

steam barbacoa

How to cook barbacoa de res in the oven or Dutch Oven

Season the meat using this barbacoa sauce and leave it to marinate overnight. To cook beef barbacoa in the oven, place the meat and marinade inside an ovenproof dish and cover with foil paper. Make just a couple of pinches with a fork to let some steam out. Bake at 360 degrees for 40 minutes. Check and if it is missing a little more, put it back for another 20 minutes. 

If you use Dutch Oven place the beef and marinade inside and bake at 360 degrees for 40 minutes. Check and if it is missing a little more, put it back for another 20 minutes. 

How to make it in a Slow cooker or Crock Pot

If you are making the barbacoa in a slow cooker cook it at low for 8 to 9 hours. Crock Pot use the high option and have it ready in 4 hours or until tender.

How to Make Barbacoa Tacos

The Barbacoa tacos recipe is very easy to make. Tacos de barbacoa in Chihuahua is used a lot for breakfast, especially after a good fiesta! such as a Torna Boda (a wedding next day party) or a colorful quinceañera. Preparing Mexican barbacoa tacos is very easy. First of all, you must follow my barbacoa recipe step by step and also prepare what you will need to assemble the tacos follow this instruction to how to ensemble the best tacos de barbacoa ever! but anyway here are the fast instructions.

tacos de barbacoa in english

Place the corn tortillas on the griddle and start heating the corn tortilla on both sides without getting toasted.

To warm corn tortillas, just place them on a hot griddle, you don’t need oil or anything else.

Once the tortillas are hot, place some barbacoa in the middle, and on the barbacoa, you can add chopped onion, cilantro, and Mexican sauce to taste.

Some people also like to put avocado or pico de gallo on top of their tacos de barbacoa. better check out this Mexican avocado salsa.

Arriba Chihuahua! See you next time you are hungry and craving some authentic Mexican Food.

Some other delicious recipes with Barbacoa

torta de barbacoa
serrano salsa

Toppings for Mexican Barbacoa Tacos

Tacos would not be as special without the amazing variety of authentic Mexican Tacos toppings. I created a list of the best Tacos toppings, check it out here. For Mexican Beef barbacoa, goat, cheek, or lamb barbacoa these are some of the best options.

Taco Bar

Side Dishes Options for Barbacoa

If you are looking for what to serve with barbacoa these are some traditional Mexican recipes that go great with tacos de barbacoa or consomé (broth).

mexcian barbacoa recipe

Authentic Mexican Barbacoa

4.90 from 19 votes
Imprimir Pin Rate
Plato: Main Course
Cocina: Mexican
Keyword: barbacoa
Tiempo de preparación: 15 minutos
Tiempo de cocción: 1 hora
Marinated (optional): 8 horas
Raciones: 16 people
Calorías: 134kcal

Ingredientes

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 piece onion
  • 1 piece chile de arbol or red chili
  • 2 piece guajillo pepper
  • 2.5 pounds Chuck roast
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3 pieces bay leaves
  • 6 pieces whole black pepper

Elaboración paso a paso

  • Start by placing the guajillo and red chili on a hot griddle. let them toast for about 3 seconds on each side. If you can smell them you are late! this need to be very fast they burn really easily. If they burn use new ones.
  • Toasting the chiles helps to bring out certain oils that change the chili flavor and make it tastier.
  • On the same griddle toast the garlic and onion or you can just air fry them for a couple of minutes.
  • Put all the toasted ingredients in the blender together with 1 tsp of oregano ½ tsp of cumin, ½ tbsp of salt, 6 black peppercorns, and 3 bay leaves.
  • Add 1 cup of water and blend everything very well.
  • With the sauce, you created marinate the meat for one night in the refrigerator. If you don’t have time, don’t worry, I have prepared it without marinating and it is still very tender and delicious, so if you marinate it, it will be gourmet (almost like barbacoa de Hoyo)
  • Put the meat in the Instant Pot together with the marinade and activate the Meat / Stew button in your Instant Pot and let it cook.
  • Once it is finished and you can open the pot, let the meat cool a little and crumble it. There you have your healthy barbacoa… do you want to know the secret of the barbacoa street tacos? They actually fry the beef!
  • Drop some oil in the pan and fry the shredded beef. There you have the most amazing and traditional barbacoa homemade by yourself! Awesome! need some help to ensemble the barbacoa tacos? check out this post!

Video

Nutrition

Calorías: 134kcal | Carbohidratos: 2g | Proteina: 14g | Grasa: 8g | Grasa saturada: 4g | Grasa polinsaturada: 1g | Grasa monosaturada: 4g | Grasa Transgénica: 0.5g | Colesterol: 49mg | Sodio: 277mg | Potasio: 269mg | Fibra: 1g | Azúcar: 0.5g | Vitamina A: 168IU | Vitamina C: 5mg | Calcio: 20mg | Hierro: 2mg
barbacoa
Mexican beef barbacoa

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40 comentarios

  1. 5 stars
    This is amazing thank you! I saw a video of someone making this years ago but couldn’t remember the name, so glad i found this finally! One question, in their recipe they used tomatoes, i think they fried them and then added them into the pot (whole) when cooking the meat, is this a different meal altogether or a variation on this recipe etc?

    1. I am so glad you found me! The Mexican barbacoa recipe can be different from one part of Mexico to another. I haven’t seen it with tomato, the ones that uses it is birria that is another recipe to marinate beef. This recipe it turns out delicious, make sure after you shred the beef pass it in the pan with a little oil to kind of fry it and add some of the juice where it cooked. This step really takes it to another lever. hope you enjoy it!

  2. 5 stars
    Dear Laura,
    I’m writing this comment as I’d hate for the first comment that you see be so negative! As this is such a delicious, easy to prepare (and authentic!) recipe, I wanted to let you know how much your recipes are appreciated. You are wonderful, your recipes are delicious, and while I don’t have access to some of the chillies you use, my husband and I enjoy making this recipe often. Thank you so much <3

    1. You have no idea how much I appreciate your comment. English is not my first language and it really takes a great effort to try to express myself in English and be able to transmit these recipes.
      Overall I see this blog as a way to reunite cultures and share some of the recipes that have made me happy, and that bring memories from my family and loved ones. I am happy to read that you enjoy cooking these recipes.
      Habe a very bessed 2023

  3. 5 stars
    I would like to state that people of all races and ethnicities can cook other cultures’ food, sometimes even better. For you to “call out” non- Mexicans for (in your opinion) not cooking authentic dishes is classless. Cook with love and not calling people out that are making Latin dishes saying they can’t cook it correctly. Some of the best Latin/Mexican dishes I have ever tasted were prepared by “non-Mexicans”.
    Lastly, following my own advice, I will refrain from any negative comments regarding your “authentic” recipe.

    1. Hi Kerry,
      I think you misunderstood my message. The USA has the pizzas that most of the world eats even when the original is Italian! so there is always a great advantage to being able to learn and create when cultures and countries come together. Especially in the culinary world!

  4. 5 stars
    This was my first venture with traditional Mexican cuisine. I absolutely love it, but never tried cooking it myself other than chill con carne. I didn’t have the correct chilies on hand, but just used what I had. I used a London broil for the meat and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! Looking forward to my next attempt!

  5. 4 stars
    Smells great but I used too much cumin. Ingredient list says a tsp and instructions say 1/2. Glad I like cumin. Also didn’t take seeds out of guajillo so hope it’s not spicy

  6. 5 stars
    wow just WOW!!!!!!! i made this and followed your instructions just awesome
    i admit i did omit some of the spices (my wife is very sensitive to extreme spices) i used just the chile Arbol and 1 poblano and served them up as street tacos my wife couldn’t get enough i did make a chimichurri sauce to serve them with and i used cheek meat keep up the great recipes

    1. So glad to read your comment! Do you already follow me on Instagram and YouTube? I have new recipes every week. All traditional Mexican Food is cooked in a Healthier way. You can find me as Mexican Food By Laura

  7. 5 stars
    What a generous person you are Laura, sharing such an amazing and super easy recipe. I prepared it for my New Year’s Eve 2022 dinner. I wil certainlt look like a pro when I serve the barbacoa tacos and also the consome as a small 1st dish. Thank you again!

    1. 5 stars
      Gracias e igualmente…fue tal exito la barbacoa y el consome que ando en el 2do batch! Te imaginas? comparti con 2 amigas de Taiwan y con mi hija y 2 vecinas del El Salvador. Quedaron tan felices que vamos a la 2nda vuelta!

    1. Hi Juan, this an authentic Mexican barbacoa as we make it in the north of Mexico. What calls for a lot of orange juice are usually recipes from the south of Mexico especially Yucatan. Cochinita pibil or carnitas from Michoacan use a lot of orange juice. I never hear of barbacoa with orange juice. Could you share your barbacoa recipe?

  8. 5 stars
    At what point do you add the six whole black peppers? Do you toast those too? Or just put them in the blender after the other ingredients are done toasting? I made this recipe once before and it was delicious, but I can’t remember what I did about the whole black peppers, and I’m not seeing it specifically in the recipe.

    Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    Great recipe! One thing wasn’t clear, do you take the seeds out of the peppers? Most recipes do this so I did, but not sure if I was correct.

    1. Me hiciste el día!! muchas gracias por venir a comentar u tener la confianza de cocinar mis recetas. Te mando muchas bendiciones y un abrazo con mucho cariño.

    1. I want to make this authentic recipe mainly for my husband who cannot take spicy food. Are the peppers spicy or mild? Can i leave some out or use subs? Thank you!

    1. Your recipe states that it’s for four pounds but you’ve replied to fans as 2 pounds. I have the meat sitting and marinating overnight right now …panicking because your recipe that you put online is not matching to what you’re saying to this reply.

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing your family recipe. We are a mixed race family from Midwest America and love authentic Mexican food!

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