Just what the heck is Barbacoa? Is it a dish? Is it a style of cooking? Barbacoa is actually a Spanish word that means – you guessed it – barbecue. It’s actually not Spanish in origins, but rather a type of cooking that originated in the Caribbean with the Taino people. Today in contemporary Mexico, Barbacoa generally refers to meats or a whole sheep that is slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground, then covered with Maguey leaves much like a roasted pork in the tropics of the South Pacific. Barbacoa is often prepared with parts from the heads of cattle, such as cheeks, or from the heads of goats. In central Mexico, the meat of choice is a lamb, and in the Yucatan, it is prepared with a pig. The meat is known for its high fat content, strong flavors; often accompanied by onions and cilantro.
That said, today we aren’t talking traditional or contemporary Barbacoa. Nope. We’re talking about utilizing our slow cooker to infuse a nice Chuck Roast with Mexican flavors. I know, big sigh of relief. Like you, I was wondering where I’d need to go to buy a goat’s head or the cheeks of a cow.
2 cups Red Onions
2 tablespoons Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
3 Garlic Cloves
1 oz Taco Seasoning Mix
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Beef Stock
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 lb Beef Chuck Roast, boneless
8 to 10 Flour Tortillas, warm
1 small Onion
1 bunch Cilantro
Chop red onions, set aside.
Finely chop canned chipotle chiles, set aside
Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.
Spray 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix onions, chiles, garlic, taco seasoning mix, cumin, coriander and salt. Stir in broth.
In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef roast in oil 10 to 13 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. Transfer to mixture in slow cooker; turn to coat. Cook on Low heat setting 8 hours.
While the beef is cooking, coarsely chop the onion and set aside for serving. Coarsely chop cilantro leaves and set aside for serving.
Transfer beef to cutting board; cool slightly. Shred beef, discarding any pieces of fat. Toss beef with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard any remaining cooking liquid.
Warm Tortillas to serve with the shredded meat along with tortillas, onions and cilantro.