Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

We were in Costco the other day and they were handing out samples of Carnitas, Tamales, and Barbacoa Beef. We liked the Barbacoa very much, but I told Laura I could do this easily in the instant pot. So yesterday I bought the ingredients and went to work. It turned out really tasty. The advantage of the instant pot is speed. I am sure you could do this in a slow-cooker as well, but it would just take much longer. Other recipes I have seen call for dried chilies and other more difficult to find ingredients, but this one was really tasty without all that fuss and bother. Heat is provided by the chipotle chilies. You can add more heat by increasing the number of chilies, but two seemed about right for me in this recipe.

We’re going to have Barbacoa Beef Enchilada’s tonight. Here is the recipe:


2/3 cup beer, or water or beef broth
4 cloves garlic
2 chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce, or more to taste
1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can chopped green chilies, 4 ounces
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds beef chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
3 bay leaves


1. 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. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and add onions. Saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.

2. Add beer, scraping up any brown bits that are left behind. Add chipotles, green chilies, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves. Puree using an immersion blender until smooth.

3. Add the bay leaves and meat and 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. Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a tray.

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.

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

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