Beef Barbacoa

Happy Taco Tuesday! I recently found a new show on Netflix, and in true Nhubbies nature, I finished the entire season in one weekend. The show is called “Gentefied,” and the premise — without giving too much away — is centered around a Mexican-American family that works together to keep their grandpa’s restaurant afloat, amid the gentrification happening around the neighborhood.

My verdict? (Because this is what my blog is all about, right?) It was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m very much looking forward to another season.

To connect this to my food blog… I’ve been craving tacos since watching this show. So I had this master plan — I took the afternoon off from work so that I could go to my local butcher shop to get beef tongue and spend the rest of the afternoon making beef tongue tacos, because beef tongue tacos are the freaking best.

AND OF COURSE, the butcher shop was closed. I was extremely disappointed, but I decided to try out a new recipe that I’ve had brewing in my head for a while: barbacoa!

It was a more-than-satisfactory substitute, if not just as good. Rich, creamy, savory, flavorful — everything I wanted in a taco. And here I am, sharing it with you. Two of the best things about this recipe are how easy it is and how hands off it is.

My Instant Pot has been a godsend for me and my weeknight dinners. In under two hours, you can get the most tender meat you’ve ever tasted. And yes, you guessed it! This is what I used for this recipe.

Prep Time: 1 to 24 hours Cook Time: 1.5 hours Serves:  6 to 8 people

What You’ll Need

For the marinade

  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced

For the barbacoa

  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into fist-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced green chiles
  • 1 7 oz. can of chipotles in adobo sauce, crushed
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

How You’ll Do It

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together freshly squeezed lime, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or large Ziplock bag, add in the beef chunks, onions and garlic. Then, pour in the marinade and mix evenly with your hands. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, set the Instant Pot to sauté, and add in the two tbsp of olive oil. Once the pot is hot, add in the beef, and brown for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Once meat is browned, add in the remaining ingredients from the marinade (onions, garlic, juices). Then add in the green chiles, chipotles in adobo sauce, salt and water.
  5. With a wooden spoon, mix everything in the pot until evenly incorporated.
  6. Close and seal the Instant Pot, and set to “Meat/Stew” for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  7. When the timer has 10 minutes left, I like to prepare everything else for my tacos — heat up the CORN tortillas, cut up white onions and cilantros, bring out the hot sauce and salsa, etc.