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Instant Pot Barbacoa

I recently made this super tender and flavorful Instant Pot Barbacoa (Mexican Shredded Beef) dish and it was so good! This unbelievably tender beef dish is so versatile! I like to make a batch of this meat and then eat it with some rice and veggies, or use it for tacos, burritos, or even to make a super stuffed grilled cheese!

I used easy to find ingredients (stew meat, herbs, and citrus) and then let them cook together in either an Instant Pot or a slow cooker!

What is traditional barbacoa made from?

Barbacoa is actually a method of cooking meat. It is normally slowly cooked that produces tender and juicy results. I used my Instant Pot to achieve a “slow cooked” result in a fraction of the time.

What meat is Barbacoa?

Traditionally, barbacoa is made with beef from a cow’s head, but you can use other cuts of meat, if that’s not your thing. I used Beef Stew Meat, but you can also use a Beef Chuck Roast and cut it into smaller pieces. Cutting it into smaller pieces makes it cook faster.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Barbacoa:

  • Beef Stew Meat (or Beef Chuck Roast cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • Cooking Oil
  •  @GourmetGarden ™ Garlic Stir-In Paste
  • sea salt
  • cumin
  • Black Pepper
  • Chipotle Pepper Powder
  • oregano
  • beef broth (low sodium)
  • orange or whole lime (juiced)
  • Dried Cilantro

Instant Pot Barbacoa

Instant Pot Barbacoa is an easy to make Mexican style shredded beef made in your instant pot. This recipe is full of flavor and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Course bbq, dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican


  • 1.5 lbs Beef Stew Meat (or Beef Chuck Roast cut up into 2inch pieces)
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1.5 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Pepper Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 3/4 cup Beef Broth Low Sodium
  • 1/2 Orange (juiced) Or Whole Lime
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried Cilantro


Instant Pot Instructions

  • Put all ingredients in the Instant Pot® EXCEPT for broth, orange juice or whole lime, and dried cilantro. Mix ingredients and hit sauté button!
  • Brown the meat on all sides then turn off sauté.
  • Add beef broth and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • Once it is finished cooking, manually release the pressure.
  • Stir in citrus juice and dried cilantro.
  • Lightly shred your meat, serve over rice, or add a tortilla and serve w/ sides for a taco spread. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Follow steps 1 and 2 above, except you will brown your meat with spices and oil in a pan on the Stove.
  • Transfer meat to a slow cooker and add broth. Cook on high for 4 hours or cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Lightly shred the meat and add in citrus juice and dried cilantro. Mix and enjoy!
Keyword beef, instant pot

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