If you’ve ever visited a Chipotle restaurant, you’ve probably heard of Barbacoa – or Mexican Barbecue. Traditionally, its pork or beef that’s been marinated, braised all day and shredded before being served on nachos, in quesadillas and tacos, or over salad. And no joke – it’s some of the most tender meat you’ve ever tasted!
Did you know you can re-create that same rich and tender Barbacoa in your crock-pot? Chipotle uses (go figure) chipotles in adobe sauce in most of their marinades and sauces. I usually omit them because my oldest doesn’t like anything spicy. The slow-cooked meat is literally falling apart after 6-7 hours.
My favorite way to serve the tender, shredded beef is in warmed corn tortillas topped with some Southwestern slaw – a crisp red cabbage slaw topped with a spicy dressing. If you have leftovers (which you probably will!), use it to make quesadillas, a batch of beef and bean burritos for the freezer or “burrito” bowls with rice, cilantro, tomatoes, cheese (optional), beans, guacamole or whatever other toppings you like!
- 4-6 lb beef brisket
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Fajita Seasoning (I use Wildtree Fajita Seasoning - a blend of chili powder onion, cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne, sea salt, lime juice and oregano)
- 2-3 canned chipotle peppers, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from can)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- corn tortillas, rice and/or beans, for serving
- Toppings like: guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, Southwestern Slaw
- Mash the garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt with the back of a knife until it forms a paste. Spread the garlic paste on both sides of your beef. Sprinkle generously with your fajita seasoning.
- Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Brown the meat on both sides. You may have to cut your piece of beef in half to fit in the pan - that's okay!
- When the beef has finished browning, place it in the crock-pot. Add the onions and chipotle peppers to the pan drippings. Combine the water, beef broth, brown sugar, and vinegar and pour over the onions. Cook for just a few minutes - enough time to scrape up any extra brown bits stuck to the pan.
- Pour the beef broth and onions over the beef in your crockpot. Add 2-3 bay leaves, as well as another teaspoon or so of salt and some cracked pepper. Put the lid on and cook the brisket on low for about 7 hours.
- When the briskest is tender and falling apart, carefully remove it from the crockpot and let rest 15 minutes before shredding. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- If you would like, you can brown the meat in a medium skillet with a little extra seasoning to crisp it up just a bit before serving. We wrap up the shredded beef brisket in corn tortillas topped with Southwestern Slaw