The Esports Kitchen: Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

Paleo Beef Barbacoa

If you’re cooking one meal, cook 5 meals. This is a great recipe for lunch tacos and post-workout meals for a full week. Double it if you’re cooking for two. Combine with rice, roasted or steamed veg (asparagus, broccoli, corn) and some fresh scallions or radish. Add salsa and avocado (if you’re getting fats in your plan) and enjoy for days. 

  • 3 lbs (1.36kg) chuck roast (fat trimmed), cut into 2-inch chunks. Avoid USDA Choice and Prime cuts, as they will have more fat.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped (or more to taste).
  • 1 (4 oz/120 ml) can chopped fire-roasted green chiles.
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup).
  • 1/4 cup (32g) fresh lime juice.
  • 2T (28g) apple cider vinegar.
  • 3 bay leaves.
  • 1T (14g)  ground cumin.
  • 1T (14g) dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano).
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) salt.
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) black pepper.
  • 1/4 tsp (1ml) ground cloves.
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) beef stock or water.


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker. Toss gently to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and falls apart easily when shredded with a fork.

Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces inside of the slow cooker. Toss the beef with the juices, then cover and let the barbacoa beef soak up the juices for an extra 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.  Use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to serve the barbacoa beef.

If not using immediately, refrigerate the barbacoa beef with its juices in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.