Have you ever tried cooking beef barbacoa? It’s a Mexican beef recipe for shredded beef and you can use it in salads, tacos, burritos, and nachos… For today’s recipe, we are making this beef barbacoa recipe in the Instant Pot. The meat comes out so tender and flavorful. I hope you try it for dinner and enjoy it as much as we do!
Looking for something else to make for dinner? See all our Instant Pot Recipes.
Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa
It is easy to make beef barbacoa in the Instant Pot and finish getting the edges of the beef crispy in the oven by broiling it for several minutes. Of course, you can skip the oven part if it’s summer and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen or get the meat crispy. That’s up to you. Optionally, you can finish and broil the shredded beef in the outdoor grill by laying it in a lined pan with low edges or lined sheet pan to get the finished edges.
Beef Barbacoa Recipe (Instant Pot)
- 3 lb.- 3-1/2 lb. of beef chuck roast or beef tri-tip
Note – traditional barbacoa is made with beef cheeks, lamb or goat.
- 1 onion
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Pam Non-Stick Spray
- Cornstarch (if needed to thicken the sauce)
Chipotle (Adobo) Sauce Ingredients For Barbacoa
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. pepper
- pinch of salt
- 5 garlic cloves (large)
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (7.5 oz)
- 1 can salsa de jalapeno
- 1 small can tomato sauce or tomatoes with green chilies
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 1-1/4 cups of beef broth
How To Make Beef Barbacoa In The Instant Pot
- Prep your tri-tip or beef chuck roast by trimming the fat and cutting the meat into chunks.
- Peel the garlic cloves.
- Add all the ingredients into a blender to make the chipotle sauce. (Reserve the meat or onion and bay leaf. DO NOT BLEND THOSE ingredients) Blend and reserve until needed.
- Next, add your prepared meat and cut up an onion into a pre-sprayed Instant Pot with non-stick spray, use the saute setting.
- Lightly braise the beef and saute the onion in the Instant Pot.
- Then add the blended chipotle sauce.
- Make sure it has the beef broth added! (You need at least 1 cup liquid for cooking, you don’t need to add extra just make sure you don’t forget it!)
- Close and seal the lid. (make sure to set the knob to sealing)
- Hit cancel. Reset the setting to high pressure, more, to cook for 1 hour.
- Let the meat cook.
- When the timer beeps and meat cooked. Let countdown 10 minutes. Carefully, move the valve to “venting”, for a quick pressure release. After all the steam is released and the pin has dropped you can remove the lid.
- Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set it into a bowl, or on the cutting board to shred.
- To thicken adobo sauce in the Instant Pot – add 2 tbsp. cornstarch with 3 tbsp. water in a measuring cup, use a fork to make it smooth. Then add it to the sauce and mix it with a spoon. Set the Instant Pot on saute and let it thicken. Shut saute setting off. Pour into a bowl to use on the shredded meat.
- Take the cooked beef, shred the meat on a cutting board.
- Place the shredded meat evenly onto an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
- Add as much of the homemade sauce as you’d like to. Put it into the oven on the broil setting and broil until your liking, while checking on the meat often. You only want to crisp the edges.
- When finished remove from the oven with hot pads, let cool and use or serve.
How To Store Beef Barbacoa Leftovers
When I have leftovers, I add the shredded leftovers to my glass storage containers with lids and store the barbacoa in the refrigerator to use in burritos, tacos, and salads. We use cooked beef meat within 3-4 days. (or in the freezer up to 3 months) Below, is how the beef looks, just after being pulled from the fridge, after storing it in the container.
I love meal planning, cooking once to get several meals from one cooked recipe. Recipes like this save me from cooking every day but, help me to get dinner on the table for my family every day.
This recipe is also great for summer and fall as cooking it in the Instant Pot helps keep your kitchen cool. But, it’s great for any time of the year! Besides salads, tacos and burritos we also used the recipe for beef barbacoa for making nachos for an appetizer or meal.
I think once you make this recipe, the prep can go a lot quicker than you think. You can always have your grocery store butcher trim and cut the meat for you. Talk to them about what you are cooking and what they suggest purchasing to cook beef barbacoa.
How can you use barbacoa shredded beef?
For dinner we just heated corn tortillas, added the Mexican shredded beef and diced white onions and cilantro. We had avocado and tomatoes on the side. On the next day, we made beef nachos. Then we made burritos for lunch one day. With only 3 people in the home, this makes plenty of cooked beef for a few meals. If you have a bigger family you will get one or two meals.
- Today’s recipe was inspired by Ultimate Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa by The Chunky Chef.
What will you make with your shredded beef?
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