This chipotle barbacoa beef copycat is bursting with smoky, rich flavor. It’s slow cooked in a homemade adobo sauce for tender, juicy meat to use in tacos, burritos and more.
You can purchase prepackaged chipotle adobo sauce but, you can’t beat making your own sauces from Mexican chiles, I don’t like being dependent on prepared sauces.
Homemade sauces have, by far, the fresher flavor. It’s wonderful to know and be able to pronounce all of your ingredients too!
I’ve made homemade adobo sauce in another recipe and it’s delicious with chicken too! Try this Chicken Tinga Tacos Dorados recipe.
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How to Make Fresh Adobo Sauce
I typically try to make my sauces on the mild side. I’ve used these chiles:
- Guajillo chiles
- Ancho chiles
- Chipotle chiles
- Arbol chiles
The hot chiles in this list are the Arbol chiles. You can consider them to be similar to cayenne. I’ve used 5 of them here, but you can reduce to 2 for something milder. If you want more heat, try adding more of them. A small handful should do the trick.
How to Use Dried Mexican Chiles
When using Mexican chiles, the dried versions have different names from the fresh versions. The guajillo chiles are mirasol, the ancho chiles are poblano and the chipotle are jalapeño.
You can get creative with your chiles to come up with your own combination or to use the dried chiles you have on hand.
To learn more about how much spicy heat is in each chile pepper, view the Scoville Heat Scale which lists several different peppers used here.
It’s very easy to make the sauce. I think the most time-consuming part is removing the seeds from the chiles. After you’ve removed and discarded the seeds, you should wash your chiles.
Chiles are usually dried outdoors and you don’t want “things” in your food. I hope that they’re washed before packaging, but you just never know.
Building a Barbacoa Burrito
When serving your chipotle barbacoa beef, think of it as spicy pulled beef barbecue. Get creative and use it for anything where you might use pulled beef.
You can serve as barbacoa burritos or tacos. Try a burrito bowl to cut the carbs from the tortillas.
Load everything up just like you would a regular taco or burrito:
- Rice (yellow, white or brown)
- Spanish Rice
- Pico de Gallo
- Red Cabbage
- Cheese (shredded or crumbled)
- Radish Slices
- Baby Spinach
- Beans (pinto or black)
- Chipotle Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa
On the side, serve with lime slices, crema and cilantro. Try straining out a little sauce from the pulled beef and put it in a small bowl for dipping.
Be sure to browse all our Mexican food recipes for more ideas.
Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Burrito CopycatTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- Slow cooker (Crockpot)
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
- 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
- 1 large Onion, quartered
- 6 Dried Guajillo Chiles, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
- 4 Dried Ancho Chiles, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
- 4 Dried Chipotle Chiles, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
- 5 Dried Arbol Chiles, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- ⅛ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Smoky Flavor, like Liquid Smoke, optional
- 2 pounds Chuck Roast
Preparing Adobo Sauce
- Quarter tomatoes and large onion. Peel garlic cloves. Stem, seed and rinse all dried chiles. Place all in a medium sauce pan with enough water to cover.
- Place pan on medium high heat and bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover with lid. Allow to cook until everything is heated through and chiles are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
- With slotted spoon remove all ingredients from water to blender. To blender, add salt, oregano, cumin, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and optional smoky flavor. If necessary to allow blender to work properly, add a little more fresh water, maybe about ½ cup.
- Blend until smooth.
- Trim and cut roast into 1 ½" pieces. Place roast pieces in slow cooker (Crockpot).
- Add the homemade adobo sauce to slow cooker and stir well. Don't worry if the adobo seems thick. The juices from the meat will be incorporated.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- With two forks, shred meat. It should be very easy to shred at this point. Stir well. Cook for 30 minutes more.
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