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Tray of Beef Barbacoa with Pickled Red Onion and Cabbage

Beef Barbacoa with Pickled Red Onion and Cabbage

  • Author: The Hungry Waitress
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Beef Barbacoa with Pickled Red Onion and Cabbage is one of our staple recipes. It feels a little fancier than your quick everyday ground beef tacos. It does take about four hours to make on the stove but it's totally worth it. I have included a slow cooker version too!



Beef Barbacoa

  • 2 1/2 - 3lb chuck roast
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 - 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 beer, lager (optional)
  • 1/2 cup broth

Pickled Red Onion and Cabbage

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup red wine vinegar | sub white distilled
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded

Serve with corn tortillas, cilantro and lime wedges.


Beef Barbacoa

  1. Rub the chuck roast with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat.
  3. Place the chuck roast in the hot pot and brown each side for around 7-8 minutes on medium high heat. Take the roast out of the pot and set aside.?
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn?t burn, for 2-3 minutes. If the pot is dry feel free to add another couple tablespoons of butter.
  5. Toss in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, dried oregano and black pepper to the pot and stir another 2 minutes to toast the spices, then mix in the tomato paste.
  6. Optional step: Pour in one beer, let it reduce for about 5 minutes
  7. Add the broth and chuck roast back into the pot.
  8. Bring everything up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  9. Simmer for 3 1/2 - 4 hours until the chuck roast pulls apart easily.

Pickled Red Onion and Cabbage

  1. Bring some water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a medium pot.
  2. Place sliced onions and red cabbage in separate heat safe jars.
  3. Pour the hot liquid over the onions and cabbage and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.


Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa: Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 1/2 - 4 hours until the chuck roast pulls apart easily.?

*Nutrition label is for the beef barbacoa only and does not include any toppings or tortilla nutrition

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: beef recipe, beef barbacoa recipe, slow cooker beef barbacoa, beef barbacoa crock pot