Easy weeknight Barbacoa recipe

This recipe is the perfect weeknight recipe! No fuss and mess. Just use one pot for everything. It can be made in a instant pot, crock pot or on the stove. The change in directions to use the crock pot and stove instead of an Instant Pot are in the bottom section titled ‘Notes’.


-About 3 pounds beef (chuck roast is ideal but you can use other fattier meats as well.)

-a dash of salt and pepper

-a dash of ground cloves

-1 teaspoon of minced garlic

-half a jar of Herdez salsa taquera

-1/2 cup of water or beef broth

-1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Valentina)

-2-3 bay leaves

-1 dried chili pepper (or a small can of chili in adobo sauce)


1.) Trim the fat of the beef as best you can. Chop the beef into larger chunks that are about 2 inches or so wide.

2.) Turn your instant pot onto the ‘sauté’ feature. Allow it to heat up. Once it’s hot, spray tha bottom with an olive oil spray and spread the beef chunks into the bottom of the pot. Allow the beef to get a caramelization on the outside but not cook through. Flip onto the other sides so those get a brown caramelization too.

3.) Once the beef has a nice brown caramel color on all if not most sides, turn the sauté feature off. Add in all other ingredients listed above and stir. (I suggest leaving the bay leaves and dried pepper to go on top so they are easy to fish out later.)

4.) Set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 40 minutes. You won’t need to wait to pressure release when it’s done. Manuel release it by carefully opening the valve.

5.) Pull the the beef out from the broth, shred and serve with a side of rice, veggies or as a taco!



A.) If you are going to make this recipe using a crock pot, follow the same steps of caramelizing the beef first. The major difference is the crock pot will take longer to cook so make sure you are making this dish ahead of time. If you have time, set the crockpot to 7-8 hours on low. If you need it quicker, set it to 3-4 hours on high.

B.) If you would like to make this recipe on the stove, caramelize the beef in the same pot you are going to cook it in. Once you have caramelized your beef and added all your ingredients, set the fire to low and allow the beef to cook for a minimum of 3 hours. You can check on it after 3 hours to see if the beef has cooked all the way through and can be shredded (this depends on how big your beef chunks are.)

C.) You can freeze the leftover broth for future use (soup, stew, or another batch of Barbacoa!)

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