Easy crockpot chipotle barbacoa, or shredded beef tacos, are slow cooked with Mexican spices until tender & juicy, then topped with caramelized pineapple.
Taco Tuesday just got better with easy crockpot barbacoa.
Is it even really possible to make taco Tuesday better than it already is??
Well yeah, especially if you’re looking for something other than ground meat to put in your tacos ;).
Beef chuck roast is coated in a delicious Mexican spiced rub, pan seared, then placed in the crockpot along with onions, garlic, bell peppers, chipotle and beer. It’s braised until perfectly fall-apart-tender.
What is Barbacoa made out of?
Traditional barbacoa in Mexico is made from goat, beef or sometimes lamb. The term barbacoa refers to the method of slow cooking the meat, traditionally over an open fire, until tender and shredded.
This easy crockpot version of braised beef tacos is made with a hint of chipotle for a little smoky/spicy kick that’s topped with juicy caramelized pineapples.
To make easy crockpot chipotle barbacoa tacos:
- Rub your chuck roast with a blend of Mexican seasonings until well coated. Cut into 3” chunks.
- Heat oil over medium high heat and sear the beef until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Place in the bottom of your crockpot.
- Add garlic, chipotle, onions, and bell peppers. Then add in beer and squeeze of lime juice.
- Cook low and slow for 8 hours or until beef is falling apart easily. Shred with fork and serve on tacos.
I love topping these tacos with caramelized pineapples because it gives a sweet, juicy flavor that balances well with the chipotle and spices.
To make the caramelized pineapples:
While the meat is cooking, heat butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Then add the pineapple pieces, brown sugar and salt. Cook until slightly browned, about 20 minutes.
The caramelized pineapple can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator. You can serve them cold, room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave.
Other toppings for barbacoa tacos:
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Easy Pickled red onions (recipe from Girl with the Iron Cast)
- Sour Cream (or Greek yogurt)
- Shredded Mexican Cheese
What to serve with shredded beef tacos?
I like using corn tortillas for my shredded beef tacos, however you can use flour tortillas or even the hard corn shells for your tacos.
Browning the tortillas before using them also enhances their flavor making your tacos even tastier (see recipe notes).
Aside from being perfect for your Taco Tuesday night, crockpot barbacoa beef (or even leftover shredded meat) can be used in a variety of dishes:
- Beef nachos
- Burrito bowls
For some more delicious Mexican Recipes try:
Crockpot Chipotle Barbacoa (Mexican Shredded Beef) Tacos
- 1.5-2 lbs Beef Chuck Roast
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Coffee
- 2 tsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 1 Bell Pepper diced
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Chipotle pepper in sauce, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 4 oz. Beer
- Juice of 1 Lime plus more for serving
- 10-12 Corn Tortillas
- Fresh Chopped cilantro for serving
- Pickled Red Onions optional (see recipe notes)
- Sour cream for serving (or Greek Yogurt)
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 3 cups of pineapple cut into ½” chunks
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- Combine chili powder, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub on all sides of the beef using your hands to massage it in.
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat in large skillet or cast iron pan. Once hot, add the meat and sear on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Place in bottom of your slow cooker along with the sliced onions, peppers, bay leaf, chipotle and garlic.
- Add beer and lime juice giving the mixture a quick stir.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until meat is easily falling apart. Once done, shred meat using two forks.
- Serve on corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, lime, pickled red onions (if using), caramelized pineapple and sour cream.
- Heat butter over medium heat in large sauté pan. Add pineapple, brown sugar and pinch of salt.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the pineapple starts turning a golden brown color, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.