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Slow-Cooked Beef Barbacoa Tacos

This slow-cooked beef barbacoa meat is extremely flavor-packed! No crazy ingredients or spice, this stewed beef meat cooks in a delicious sauce. Great for serving a large crowd or keeping as leftovers!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef, beef barbacoa, corn tortillas, enchilada, mexican, orange, stew, tacos
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 539kcal
Author: Elise Shivamber


  • 2.5 LB Chuck Roast
  • 2 TBSP Avocado Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • ½ White Onion (diced)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • ¾ Cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (3 oranges or substitute for storebought juice)
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice (3 limes)
  • 1 Cup Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Cups Water or Beef Broth
  • 12 Corn Tortillas

Spice Mix

  • 2 TSP Garlic Salt
  • 2 TSP Paprika
  • 2 TSP Cumin
  • 2 TSP Chili Powder
  • 2 TSP Dried Oregano


Stew the Beef Meat

  • Cut the chuck roast into even 1 inch cubes. Remove as much of the fat as possible.
  • Pour spice mix onto large cubes of beef and make sure beef is evenly coated. (You can use a large baking dish)
  • Heat 2 TBSP avocado oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Sear the beef cubes until all sides are browned. Make sure to sear in groups so as to not overcrowd the pot. If you notice the bottom of the pot gets dry, add some more oil. Once all pieces are browned, place beef on a plate or in a bowl to the side.
  • In the same pot (keep the browned bits), add diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. You can add oil if the pot is a bit dry. Turn down the heat to medium.
  • Stir in the minced garlic.
  • Pour in orange juice and lime juice and scrape the browned bits of the pan while mixing together.
  • Add the enchilada sauce and water to the pot.
  • Add the cooked beef meat and all of the juices back into the pot. Stir to make sure it is completely mixed together.
  • Bring heat back up to medium-high until liquid is boiling.
  • Place the lid on the pot and turn down the heat to a low simmer.
  • Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir the liquid and meat around 1-hour into the simmer.
  • After simmering for 1 hour and 15 minutes, your meat should be super tender. If you press the meat with a wooden spoon, it should break apart into pieces.
  • While keeping the sauce simmering, remove the beef cubes using tongs and into a prep bowl. Take two forks and shred the beef chunks. If there are any pieces of fat that didn’t cook off, you can remove it from the beef.
  • Raise heat to medium-high, add the shredded beef back to the pot. Cook for 5-10 minutes, letting the sauce thicken up and the beef soak up the sauces.

Build the Tacos

  • Heat corn tortillas over the open flame, about 30-seconds each side. Alternatively, heat up in the oven under the broiler or microwave in a damp paper towel.
  • Generously add the barbacoa beef to the tortilla.
  • Add garnishes of pickled red onions, jalapeño, cilantro or avocado slices.
  • Serve warm


NOTE: The beef barbacoa consommé can get tortillas quite wet. These tacos are great to double-tortilla!
If using a Slow Cooker, just cook on high for 2-3 hours.
Leftovers to be stored in an airtight container. Microwave to eat.
Beef - Use chuck roast, beef brisket or even beef stew meat.
Red Enchilada Sauce - Store bought enchilada sauce is best for this recipe!
Water or Beef Broth - Beef broth adds a heavier, but more intense flavor.
Orange Juice - Preference is to juice fresh oranges, but substitute for store bought orange juice.
Lime Juice - Use fresh limes or substitute for equal amounts of white wine vinegar.


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 1316mg | Potassium: 848mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 6mg