Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

February 27, 2023

Remix your standard taco night by using a Beef Roast or Beef Stew Meat to make Barbacoa instead of regular ground beef tacos. This is one of our family's favorite recipes - use it once for street tacos and the leftovers to make enchiladas to freeze or serve later in the week.


2/3 cup beer, water or beef stock

4 cloves garlic

2 chipotles in adobo sauce (more or less, to taste)

1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 pounds of any Beef Roast, cut into chunks or Beef Stew Meat

3 bay leaves


  1. Combine beer, garlic, chipotles, onion, green chiles, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves in a blender or food processor. Purée for 30 seconds, or until completely smooth. Set aside.
  2. Press the “Sauté” setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil. Then once it is heated and shimmering, add the roast and sear — turning every 45-60 seconds or so — until the roast is browned on all sides. Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
  3. Add the bay leaves and pureed sauce, and briefly toss everything until the roast is evenly coated in the sauce. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  4. Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 60 minutes. Cook. Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.
  5. Remove the lid, and discard the bay leaves.
  6. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Give the beef one more good toss in all of those juices so that it can soak them up.

Serve warm, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes from Kassi:

  • This recipe yields 3 lbs of meat, making it perfect for 1-2 different meals or to freeze part for future use.
  • Any Beef Roast will work in this recipe
  • Use Stew Meat, but decrease ingredients if using less than 3 lbs (3 pkgs)
  • Adapt this recipe for the crockpot by cooking on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

Kassi Glassman

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