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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos
with lime slaw / avocado

Active: 30 minTotal: 7 hr 30 min

Last year our community members asked for a Cook Smarts take on barbacoa and we were happy to comply with these fresh, classic tacos!
Smarts: The barbacoa in this recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.
Smarts: In many tropical countries pineapple and other fruits are topped with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of chili powder - it's a unique way to balance out the natural sweetness of the fruit. Feel free to serve the pineapple spears without those toppings if you prefer.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Slow Cooker Barbacoa (for 2 nights):
  • Onions, medium white - 1/2, chopped into large pieces
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Chipotle peppers - 1, chopped (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • Beef, boneless chuck roast - 3 lbs, cut into large pieces
  • Cumin - 2 tsp
  • Oregano - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 3 Tbsp
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Lime juice - 1 Tbsp
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos:
  • Onions, medium white - 1/2, diced
  • Avocados - 1, sliced
  • Cilantro - 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Limes - 1/2, wedges
  • Tortillas, taco-sized corn or flour - 8
  • Slow Cooker Barbacoa (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 cups
  • Salsa - for serving
Lime Slaw:
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Lime juice - 2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Coleslaw mix - 5 oz
Chili Salted Pineapple Spears:
  • Pineapple, medium - 1, sliced into spears (look for pre-sliced pineapple to save time)
  • Chili powder (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt (opt) - 1/4 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Prep

  1. Onions (for barbacoa and tacos) / Garlic / Chipotle pepper - Prep as directed. Set onions for tacos aside. Combine onions for barbacoa, garlic, and chipotle pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Beef - Slice beef into large chunks. Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Make slaw - Whisk together honey, lime juice (portion for slaw), and oil. Add coleslaw mix and toss to combine. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Slow-cook beef - Place beef in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Top beef with onions (portion for barbacoa), garlic, and chipotle pepper. Add stock, vinegar, bay leaves, and lime juice (portion for barbacoa). Cook until beef is tender, 7 to 8 hours on low (4 to 5 hours on high).
  5. Avocados / Cilantro / Limes - Prep as directed.
  6. Pineapple - Slice into spears. Spread out on a serving plate and sprinkle with chili powder and salt (or serve the spears without the topping if you prefer).

Make

  1. Use a slotted spoon to remove beef from cooking liquid (discard cooking liquid). Transfer beef to a cutting board and shred with forks or chop with a knife. (Shred / chop the barbacoa for Thursday night at the same time and set it aside.)
  2. Give slaw a stir and season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Heat tortillas according to package directions.
  4. Set out tortillas, barbacoa, slaw, onions (portion for tacos), avocados, cilantro, lime wedges, and salsa. Assemble tacos at the table (put slaw on the tacos or serve it on the side). Serve with pineapple. Enjoy!
  5. Note: If you want to get a head start on Thursday, you can make the filling and assemble the stuffed peppers now. That way you can just slide them in the oven on Thursday night!

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Reviews

This meal has 37 reviews

Pretty good quick weekday meal.

By: Yana
Posted: Jun 12, 2019
Diet: Original

Would prefer pork but loved the sauce it was cooked in. I added an extra chipotle pepper with more onion too. Yum. Save some onions for the tacos. The slaw was bland - maybe it needs more time juice? The pineapple was fun with the chili powder sprinkled on it.

By: Liz
Posted: Jun 12, 2019
Diet: Original

A little bit too spicy so I would skip the chipotle pepper next time. But it’s a good recipe to have on hand for company! I plan to make it again

By: Shannon
Posted: Jun 12, 2019
Diet: Original

Used pork instead, so delicious!

By: Laurey
Posted: Jun 12, 2019
Diet: Original

Ok, but I've liked the similar pork recipes better. Surely just a personal preference. The beef just made me feel like I should be tasting stew instead of taco flavors.

By: Samantha
Posted: Jun 11, 2019
Diet: Original

Amazing. I used the instant pot for the barbacoa and loved her easily it all came together! Toppedit off with fresh garden salsa.

By: Becca
Posted: Jun 11, 2019
Diet: Paleo