Slow Cooker Barbacoa Lettuce Wrap ‘Tacos’
with lime slaw / avocado
Last year our community members asked for a Cook Smarts take on barbacoa and we were happy to comply with these fresh lettuce cup '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.
- 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
- Onions, medium white - 1/2, diced
- Avocados - 1, sliced
- Cilantro - 2 Tbsp, chopped
- Limes - 1/2, wedges
- Lettuce, romaine - 12 leaves (sub green leaf or iceberg)
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 cups
- Salsa - for serving
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Coleslaw mix - 5 oz
- 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
- 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)
- Beef - Slice beef into large chunks. Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- 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)
- 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).
- Avocados / Cilantro / Limes / Lettuce - Prep as directed.
- 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).
- 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.)
- Give slaw a stir and season with some salt and pepper.
- Set out lettuce leaves, barbacoa, slaw, onions (portion for lettuce wraps), avocados, cilantro, lime wedges, and salsa. Assemble lettuce wrap ‘tacos’ at the table. (Add slaw to the wraps or serve it on the side.) Serve with pineapple. Enjoy!
- 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!
The slaw was a hit with everyone which we put on the taco. As was meat with all Meat eaters. Used 1/2 the cumin. Variety of lettuce wrap or taco shell. Glad we added the pineapple! Will make again!0 Helpful
SO GOOD!0 Helpful
Tbsp and a half of cumin and oregano. 1.5c of stock 30-35” instant pot on meat setting @ high0 Helpful
So yummy. The slaw on the taco with the beef made the perfect flavor/texture combo.0 Helpful
This was very good and easy. We put the slaw on the tacos. I would use more avocado next time. I think it would also be delicious to grill the pineapple and put in on the tacos.0 Helpful
Really good, but I do have a question - I've had several recipes as for a "chuck" roast. I've never actually been able to find a cut of meat labelled "chuck". Is there another name for this particular cut? I got a boneless blade pot roast in this case, and I've used various cuts of meat in place of "chuck" before. I just think it's strange that so many recipes call for something that doesn't seem to exist....0 Helpful