How to Make Chipotle's Barbacoa Tacos

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Once you realize how easy it is to recreate this recipe in your own kitchen, you may never want to have it any other way. The hands-on time is pretty short, it's best if made in advance and it even freezes really well. You can turn it into tacos, or make a bowl with it; you can add it to nachos, or even add it to a breakfast hash. It's so versatile that you may want to make a double batch just to have some stockpiled in the freezer.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Things You'll Need

  • 4 lbs beef chuck roast (short ribs will also work well)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white onions, diced
  • 2 large dried chili pods (one Negro chili, one ancho)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth 
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 1: Sear the Meat

Sprinkle the beef on all sides with salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add the meat, searing on all sides.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 2: Transfer to a Slow Cooker

Transfer the meat to a slow cooker, return the pot to heat.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 3: Cook the Onions

Add the onions to the pot, cook until well browned, about 10 minutes.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 4: Add the Remaining Ingredients

Remove the seeds and stem from the chilies, tear pods into pieces, add the torn pods to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 5: Blend

Blend the broth in a high powered blender until well combined.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 6: Slow Cook

Pour the broth over the meat, cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until the meat is tender and shreds easily. The thickness of your roast will determine how much time the meat will take to cook.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 7: Shred and Return to the Pot

Turn the slow cooker on high, remove the meat. Shred using two forks, return meat to the slow cooker and cook for ten minutes. This will infuse much more flavor into the meat than eating right after being shredded. Add to a serving dish.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 8: Serve

Serve as tacos or as a taco bowl. For making in advance, store the meat with some of the braising liquid. This will help the meat from drying out when reheated.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)
(Image: Jackie Dodd)
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