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Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Barbacoa Beef Recipe (Wannabe) Is A WINNER.

Beef for Barbacoa

Since I LOVE Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Barbacoa Beef so much, I had to make it.  I searched all over the internet for a recipe and discernibly chose to make this recipe, with additional ingredients that were common in other Chipotle Barbacoa Beef recipe wannabes (copycats).

Barbacoa Sauce Combination

I wanted to make my own Barbacoa Beef (partly) to avoid the unwanted fat pieces I’ve encountered in my Chipotle Tacos on more than one occasion.  They make ’em so fast.  You have to slow them down to truly get what you want, plus a side of Guacamole costs too much.

Searing the Beef   Blended Sauce poured over the Beef.   Shredded Beef

Photos parallel the step-by-step Barbacoa Beef recipe instructions above and below.  Links include recipes for Pico de Gallo and other Chipotle Mexican Grill menu items.  To accompany the Barbacoa Beef I made Refried Beans from dried Pinto Beans.  I cooked, then mashed and fried them with a little Bacon Grease, Lime Juice, Roasted Jalapeno and Salt.  They were good, but not mashed well enough — I learned it takes a fair effort and great masher.

Shredding the Beef after long slow cooking.

Please note that I’m not reporting this is Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Barbacoa recipe — It’s an excellent variation of a copycat I found.  To me, it pretty much tastes just like it.  While researching this, I stumbled across another Food Blogger being reprimanded by a commenter that… “her recipe wasn’t like Chipotle’s at all.”  I don’t think that should happen here, but you never know.  Can’t win ’em all.  (03/02/12 Update: We enjoy this recipe often).

Strained Sauce poured over Shredded Beef.   Homemade Pico de Gallo   Preparing to make homemade Refried Beans from Pinto Beans.

For quick reference I’ve post the original recipe, with the changes I made to make this fabulous shredded Barbacoa Beef.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  Enjoy it — We did.

Barbacoa Beef Recipe (Chipotle Copycat)

•1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

•3 Tbsps. Lime Juice

•4 Chipotle Peppers – Canned in Adobo Sauce

•1/2 Sweet Onion*

•5 Cloves Garlic

•4 Tsps. Cumin

•2 Tsps. Oregano – Dried Mexican variety is best

•1 ½ Tsps. Ground Black Pepper

•1 ½ Tsps. Salt

•1/8 Tsp. Ground Clove

•2 Tbsps. Vegetable or Canola Oil

•4 lb. Beef Roast – Favorite cut (Top Round, Bottom Round, Chuck, etc.)

•1 Cup of Beef or Chicken Broth

•3 Bay Leaves

•1 Juniper Berry*

1.  Combine the Lime Juice, Vinegar, Onions, Chipotle Peppers, Garlic, Cumin, Oregano, Black Pepper, Salt and Clove in a blender and blend until smooth.

2.  Cut Beef into smaller pieces (or not) and remove any excess fat.

3.  In a large Dutch oven, heat Oil and sear Beef on all sides until lightly browned.

4.  Pour the blended Sauce over the Beef and add the Beef or Chicken Broth, Bay Leaves and Juniper Berry.

5.  Cover and simmer for 6+ hours, turning every hour until the Beef can be easily pulled apart.

* I changed a few measurements and added a Juniper Berry and 1/2 of a Sweet Onion, since I repetitively saw both ingredients in other Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa recipes.  Pictured below is the first Taco enjoyed from the batch.  We also made Tostadas, Burritos and Taco Salads.

Chipotle's Barbacoa Ingredients

04/29/13 Update:  Barbacoa ingredients (minus the Beef) are pictured above.

Homeade Barbacoa Beef Taco

  1. September 30th, 2016 at 16:55 | #1

    That is really great. I’m glad it works for you! Thank you for your comment and for your service!

  2. Sarahi
    September 29th, 2016 at 11:53 | #2

    I have been using this recipe for 6 years now. I first used in when I was in the military and the crew absolutely loved it! I refuse to use any other recipe for barbacoa <3

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