pulled beef tacos instant pot

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe

3 hours 45 mins
Vadim Rachok
29.04.2024
29.04.2024
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Barbacoa Taco is so flavorful and delicious dish. This is a perfect option for dinner with your family or friends. Super yummy and hearty tacos are loved by everyone who has tried them once. You can make Barbacoa Tacos at home and enjoy this dish anytime. The preparation process is simpler than you think. This barbacoa taco recipe allows you to make this dish without any complications, even if you have no special cooking skills.

These Barbacoa Tacos are a celebration of rich flavors and cultural heritage. The slow-cooked beef, infused with aromatic spices and tenderized to perfection, creates a mouthwatering filling for these tacos. Paired with the freshness of shallot onions, tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella, each bite is a burst of savory delight. Whether enjoyed as a weeknight treat or a centerpiece for gatherings, these tacos are sure to impress with their irresistible taste and hearty satisfaction.

What Are Barbacoa Tacos?

Barbacoa tacos originated in Mexico’s indigenous cooking techniques, slow-cooking meat underground or in pits covered with agave leaves. This method produced incredibly tender and flavorful dishes by allowing the meat to cook slowly over low heat. Over time, a variety of meats, including beef, lamb, goat, and pork, were cooked in this manner, and the term “barbacoa” evolved. 

Today, barbacoa tacos are a staple of Mexican cooking, often served with fresh toppings like onion, cilantro, lime, and salsa in a warm tortilla. There are many variations and regional specialties found in different parts of Mexico and beyond. The dish has gained worldwide popularity for its rich flavor and versatility. Whether it is eaten as a street food or served in a restaurant, the barbacoa taco continues to delight diners with its irresistible flavors and cultural significance.

Barbacoa Tacos Ingredients

pulled beef tacos recipe

  • Taco Tortilla (diameter 14): Used to base the taco and hold the filling.
  • Mozzarella: Adds a creamy texture and melts beautifully, adding to the overall richness of the taco.
  • Shallot Onions: Contribute a subtle yet sweet flavor and add a nice crunch to the taco.
  • Tomato: Balance the richness of the meat with freshness and acidity.
  • Beef: The star ingredient, it provides the main source of protein in the dish.
  • Flour: Used to thicken the sauce and coat the beef before cooking.
  • Onion: Used to enhance the savory flavor profile of the dish.
  • Thyme and Rosemary: Aromatic herbs that add depth of taste and aroma to the beef.
  • Cinnamon: Provides warmth and subtle sweetness to the dish.
  • Cumin: Provides earthy and nutty notes that enhance the overall complexity.
  • Paprika: Adds color and a smoky flavor to the beef.
  • Fresh Garlic: Adds a pungent, savory flavor to the dish.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds richness to the sauce and concentrates the tomato flavor.
  • Worcester Sauce: Its umami-rich profile adds depth of flavor.
  • Chili Pepper: Adds heat and a spicy kick to the dish.
  • Beef Stock: Adds moisture and enhances the beefy flavor.
  • Bay Leaf: Adds subtle herbal flavors and aromas to sauces.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the overall taste and balance the flavors of the dish.

How to Make Barbacoa Tacos Recipe

pulled beef tacos recipe step by step 1-4

pulled beef tacos recipe step by step 5-8

pulled beef tacos recipe step by step 9-12

pulled beef tacos recipe step by step 13

  1. First, cut the onion into large cubes, the shallot into small cubes, and the tomato and chili into slices.
  2. Then, finely dice the mozzarella.
  3. Remove the veins and skin from the meat and dice it.
  4. Then, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour, and mix.
  5. Heat a saucepan, add vegetable oil, and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes on both sides until golden brown. 
  6. Next, add the onion and cook over medium heat for another 4 minutes. Add garlic, and tomato paste, and stir. Then, add rosemary, cumin, paprika, bay leaf, and chili. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours (The meat should completely fall apart along the fibers).
  8. Then, remove the meat from the broth, remove the bay leaf and rosemary from the sauce, and blend until smooth. 
  9. Tear the meat apart along the fiber with a fork or your hands. Add 100 ml of the sauce and mix.
  10. Next, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Coat the taco tortilla on both sides with the sauce. Place in a frying pan and fry over a low heat. Place tomato, meat, shallots, and mozzarella on one half of the taco.
  12. Wrap with the other half of the taco and fry on both sides until dry (the color should be golden and even). 
  13. Place on a plate and eat.

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • If the broth evaporates during the stewing process, you can add 100 ml of water. But if there is too much broth, open the lid after half an hour to allow the excess moisture to evaporate. 
  • The tacos can be served with the sauce we’ve already beaten. Add the sauce to the beef so that the meat remains moist, but the liquid does not flake off.

how to prepare pulled beef tacos

What is the Taste of Beef Barbacoa?

Beef Barbacoa is slightly spicy. It has a subtle but distinct heat. To be fair, chipotles can vary in heat, but it is not too chili-hot!

What makes barbacoa unique is the slight acidity of the vinegar and lime sauce. This cuts through the rich meat and the warmth of the cloves. That’s what sets it apart from other Mexican braised beef fillings, like other Mexican shredded beef and everyone’s beloved 80s-style beef taco filling (we’ll never let that go!).

Prepare Taco Ahead Of Time

Prepare everything ahead of time. This will make dinner a breeze. Start by cooking the barbacoa early in the morning. Then make the remaining toppings and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator. The only dip that I would recommend that you make later is the guacamole, as it will oxidize and turn brown very quickly. All you have to do is assemble when you’re ready to eat!

how to make pulled beef tacos

Serving Suggestions

You can use barbacoa as a filling in these dishes:

  • Tacos: Barbacoa is often served as a taco filling in warm tortillas. Top with tomato, meat, shallot onions, and mozzarella, fry on both sides until dry, and enjoy!
  • Burritos: For a delicious and satisfying burrito, wrap spicy barbacoa in a large tortilla with rice, beans, and other toppings of your choice.
  • Bowls: For a hearty lunch or dinner, create a savory bowl by layering barbacoa over a bed of rice or quinoa and top with beans, shredded lettuce, avocado, and a drizzle of salsa.
  • Nachos: This filling makes a fantastic side dish for stuffed nachos. For a crowd-pleasing appetizer or game day snack, spread tortilla chips on a baking sheet, top with barbacoa, cheese, beans, and other desired toppings, and bake until melted and bubbly.
  • Other uses: You can also add filling to gorditas, huaraches, sopes and enchiladas!

pulled beef tacos crock pot

Storing and Reheating Tips

To store, refrigerate barbacoa in an airtight container for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Heat in a large frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through. You can also place it in the microwave for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until heated through.

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe
Author:Vadim Rachok
This barbacoa recipe cooks the beef in a flavorful barbacoa sauce in the slow cooker until it's fall-apart tender and easy to shred. It's similar to what you'd get at Chipotle's and perfect for nachos, tacos, and burritos.
pulled beef tacos instant pot
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
4
The ingredients you need:
4 pcs taco tortilla (diameter 14)
3,5 ounces (100 g) mozzarella
1 pc large shallot onions
1 pc tomato
21 ounces (600 g) beef (brisket)
0,5 ounces (15 g) flour
1 pc onion
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 pc cinnamon
0,04 ounces (1 g) cumin
0,1 ounces (3 g) paprika
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
0,4 ounces (10 g) tomato paste
0,4 ounces (10 g) worcester sauce
1 pc chili pepper
14 ounces (400 g) beef broth
2-3 leaves bay leaf
salt
pepper
oil for frying
Let’s start !
1

Dice the onion, cut the shallot into small cubes, and slice the tomato and chili.

2

Finely dice the mozzarella.

3

Remove the veins and skin from the meat and dice it.

4

Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour and mix.

5

Heat a saucepan, add vegetable oil, and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes on both sides until golden brown. 

6

Add the onion and cook over medium heat for another 4 minutes. Add garlic, and tomato paste, and stir. Add rosemary, cumin, paprika, bay leaf, and chili. Cook for another 2 minutes.

7

Add the Worcestershire sauce, and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours (The meat should completely fall apart along the fibers).

8

Remove the meat from the broth, remove the bay leaf and rosemary from the sauce, and blend until smooth. 

9

Tear the meat apart along the fiber with a fork or your hands. Add 100 ml of the sauce and mix.

10

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

11

Coat the taco tortilla on both sides with the sauce. Place in a frying pan and fry over a low heat. Place tomato, meat, shallot onions, and mozzarella on one half of the taco.

12

Wrap with the other half of the taco and fry on both sides until dry (the color should be golden and even).

13

Place on a plate and eat.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4 Calories: 2603
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g29%
Saturated Fat 8g41%
Cholesterol 78mg26%
Sodium150mg7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g1%
Dietary Fiber 1g3%
Total Sugars 0g 
Protein 20g41%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 32mg2%
Iron 3mg18%
Potassium 226mg5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Watch How To Make It

To ensure your Barbacoa Tacos are packed with flavor, don't rush the cooking process. Allow the beef to simmer slowly, allowing the spices to meld and the meat to become beautifully tender. Additionally, don't forget to coat your taco tortillas generously with the sauce before frying – this ensures each bite is infused with deliciousness. With a little patience and attention to detail, you'll create tacos that are truly unforgettable.

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
Pro tip from chef
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