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Easy Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos

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Juicy, tender and easy Barbacoa Street Tacos are made using a humble hunk of chuck roast, slow cooked with Mexican herbs and spices, lime juice and onion; resulting in a tangy, tender, loaded-with-flavor beef, the perfect complement for these healthy, delicious Barbacoa Street Tacos.

You don’t need much with these easy and filling street tacos, but if you’d like this Cilantro Lime Rice or Mexican Rice is a great compliment, wash it all down with an easy margarita!

EASY BARBACOA BEEF STREET TACOS

The Benefits of a Slow-Cooker / Crockpot

During a particularly crazy week, I needed a good go-to, recipe for a few dinners this week and this one definitely rose to the occasion. A super easy weeknight might meal.

Not only were these easy, didn’t heat up my kitchen (95º yesterday-ugh!) but the beef was so very tender and packed with marvelous, savory Mexican flavors and spices.

Close up of street tacos on ceramic plate with lime and cilantro.

What Does Barbacoa Mean?

Mexican barbacoa is perhaps the most well-known, and its most popular manifestation is that which is used in the central states of the country.

A brick-lined oven, usually about 60 centimeters (23 inches) in diameter and about a meter (3 feet) deep, is dug into the earth. Wood is placed at the bottom and burned until the whole oven is red hot.” (Source)

Can I make Barbacoa Beef in the Oven?

I would treat it just like I would a pot roast, following all of the instructions and place in a dutch oven at 275 degrees and cook for 3 hours (for a smaller roast) and 4-6 hours for a larger roast.

If necessary, check the liquid levels about hour 4 or 6 if cooking longer adding a cup or so of additional broth.

Paired with this amazingly simple, bright, fresh, and creamy Avocado Lime Dressing it’s a filling, yet light lunch or dinner! Even picky eaters will love this!

white scalloped bowl with avocado lime dressing in it, with spoon and limes sliced behind.

Start your Barbacoa beef about 5 hours before you want to eat, though it will be fine if you need it to go longer.

How to Make Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

  1. In a large pan or pot*, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or your favorite oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot.

SLOW COOKER | If you have a slow cooker that can go from cooker to stove, you can do this step in your pan; which is what I did, I love my All-Clad Slow Cooker!

chuck roast ready for freezer | www.thefreshcooky.com

I buy my chuck roast in bulk, wrap what I don’t need in plastic wrap, place in a freezer ziplock, squeezing out any extra air and be sure to mark it so you don’t end up with a mystery meat.

I’ve also started writing what I could make with whatever I’m freezing, kind of takes some of the guesswork out of a frozen piece of meat!

  1. Sear the chuck roast (or some people call them chuck steaks) on each side until crisp brown, sprinkling with a little kosher salt. It helps to pat it dry before placing in the hot oil.

Why Doesn’t My Meat Sear or Brown?

If your meat doesn’t brown, it means one of two things, or possibly both.

  1. You did not have your heat high enough on the pan, it should be “screaming hot” (over medium high heat) we are not cooking the meat, but just browning the outside, sealing in the juices and creating flavor!
  2. Or perhaps you took your meat out and it was dripping in bloody juices (sorry, gross I know). I suggest to always rinse your meats and pat them dry with a towel, this allows the meat to sear and not the juices to just steam the meat, this is what makes it look like a blaze brown, vs. crispy crusted sear!
Hunk of browned chuck roast | www.thefreshcooky.com
  1. While your meat is searing, in a small mixing bowl, place the following ingredients; beef broth, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and sea salt and pepper. Stir or whisk until combined.
Seasonings and broth for Barbacoa meat in mixing bowl | www.thefreshcooky.com
  1. Once the beef is seared, return to the crock pot (slow-cooker) and then pour the mixture over the roast.
Pouring seasoned broth over chuck roast for barbacoa taco meet | www.thefreshcooky.com
  1. Chop onion and sprinkle over the top of the chuck roast.
chopped onions over barbacoa beef | www.thefreshcooky.com
  1. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours (I needed to rush mine just a bit, so I cooked on high for the first hour, then returned to low for 3 hours). Resist the urge to check on it as slow cookers do best when you don’t open the lid.

Slice, “pull” or cube the chuck roast into bite size pieces and ta-da, tender, easy Barbacoa Beef S waiting for you to serve as desired.

Shredding Barbacoa Beef with fork | www.thefreshcooky.com

MEXICAN POT ROAST

At this point the beef may be eaten just like a pot roast, a delicious Mexican pot roast if you will.

Spoon on some of the juices from the crock pot, serve with Cilantro Lime Rice and a crisp salad or….read on and make it into these fresh and amazing street tacos

Pinterest image with plate of barbacoa beef street tacos with lime, avocado and cilantro.

How to Grill Corn

  • While my roast was doing it’s thang, I also grilled up a quick ear of corn, totally optional!
  • Shuck your corn and rinse well, pat dry. On a hot grill or griddle pan place your corn on the cob on the griddle and grill all sides until blackened in places and tender.
  • Cool slightly, then cut corn off the cob for serving with the tacos. (Optional)
grilling corn on the cob for barbacoa street tacos | www.thefreshcooky.com

If making street tacos, assemble your toppings in small bowls, for easy taco making.

I love these small bowls, great for toppings, dips, sauces, salsa’s and more!

Fixin's for Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos, the perfect easy weeknight meal using tender, slow cooked beef and fresh toppings! #thefreshcooky #barbacoabeef #streettacos #mexicanfood #glutenfree #paleo #clean

I provided the option of Mini-Taco (or street taco) sized corn or flour tortillas, found at my local grocery store or you may certainly use regular sized corn tortillas or soft flour if you’d like.

GRAIN FREE, PALEO, LOW CARB, GLUTEN FREE STREET TACOS

If trying to go grain free all together, try making it into a wrap by piling your taco fixings on a sturdy leaf of Butter or Romaine lettuce.

Barbacoa Street Tacos with Avocado Lime Dressing #thefreshcooky #tacotuesday #streettacos #glutenfree #paleo #barbacoa #beef #tacos #slowcooker #crockpot #avocadolimedressing

How to Make Avocado Lime Dressing

If making the Avocado Lime Dressing which is delicious on salads as well as tacos.

Place a peeled, seeded and sliced avocado into a blender* along with juice of 1 lime to start and 1 tablespoon plain yogurt, season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

*I used my Ninja blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools!) worked fabulous!

Avocado Lime Dressing in blender www.thefreshcooky.com

NOTE | Watch the size of your avocado and limes, you may need to adjust your lime juice up or down depending on the size of the avocado or else it will be really limey — which I like, but others may not.

Blend and add a little lime juice at a time, taste, adding water to thin as needed. Store covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

avocado lime dressing for barbacoa street tacos | www.thefreshcooky.com

Street Taco Topping Suggestions

  • Sliced olives
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Feta or Goat cheese, Mexican Shredded or other crumbly Mexican Cheese
  • Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalepeños
  • Finely chopped yellow or pickled red onions
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Sliced avocados

Don’t forget to PIN to your favorite Slow Cooker or Mexican Recipes Board!

A few other simple, fresh recipes to try:

This recipe was moderately adapted from Jar of Lemons.

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Easy Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos
Yield: 12-16 street tacos

Easy Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes

Simple and tasty, slow cooker Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos. Slow cooked in a savory, spicy (but not hot) sauce, with loads of fresh taco toppings. An easy weeknight meal or lunch.

Ingredients

BARBACOA BEEF

  • 1-1/2 lb Chuck Roast (or steak)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or other high heat oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed, about 2 medium limes)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 12 mini corn tortillas or 6 regular sized

TACO TOPPING SUGGESTIONS

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, I used grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce or cabbage (or both)
  • 1 avocado, sliced and peeled
  • 1/4 cup Cotija or other Mexican cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ear fresh corn, blistered and blackened on all sides (I used my grill or may use BBQ or just cut fresh off the cob)
  • Lime wedge (optional for garnish)
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional for garnish)

AVOCADO LIME DRESSING

  • 1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and seeded, rough chopped
  • 1-2 limes, juiced (adjust according to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Barbacoa Beef

  1. In a large pot (or stovetop safe slow cooker crock) drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Place chuck roast (or steak) carefully in the pot and sear (brown) on all sides, just a few minutes per side. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl; mix together your beef broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, lime juice, spices together. Once your beef is seared on all sides, transfer (if necessary) to the slow cooker or crock pot and pour over your broth mixture. Top the beef with your chopped onion and cover.
  3. Cook on low for 5 hours. See notes for quicker or longer cooking times.

AVOCADO LIME DRESSING

  1. In a blender place your peeled & seeded avocado, lime juice and yogurt. Whir until smooth. If necessary add water until a pourable consistency.
  2. Note: If you use a smaller avocado and larger limes it will be really "limey" which I don't mind, but you may want to taste it after the juice of 1 lime, then add more as desired. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Store in fridge, covered until ready to use.

ASSEMBLE THE TACOS

  1. Prep your toppings in small bowls so each person may assemble their own tacos. Warm tortillas (I just warmed in 200 degree oven wrapped in a clean tea towel for 10 minutes). Remove meat from slow cooker, and using a sharp knife, slice or chop into bite size pieces.
  2. Serve with a wedge of lime and fresh, chopped cilantro along with a drizzle of the Avocado Lime Dressing.

Notes

Other topping ideas:

  • Sliced olives
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Feta or Goat cheese, Mexican Shredded or other crumbly Mexican Cheese
  • Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalepeños
  • Finely chopped yellow or red onions
  • Shredded Red Cabbage

TIP | Need to have this recipe ready sooner than 5 hours, for the first hour, cook on HIGH then lower to low for the next 3 hours. Additionally, this may be cooked on low for 6-8 hours.

This recipe was moderately adapted from Jar of Lemons.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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