barbacoa beef (in an instant pot)

It seems like everyone’s raving about the Instant Pot lately (well, my 2 friends that have one and…the internet) but I needed a new rice cooker anyway so we decided to try out the Instant Pot instead.  So far we’ve only made a few things in it including well, rice, and this dish, but we really like it.  This recipe is adapted from the combo of 2 copycat Chipotle barbacoa beef recipes that I found online. (I couldn’t decide which recipe I liked better!) It’s shredded beef that’s been braised in a sauce of chipotle peppers and various spices and it’s really yummy!  We’ve only eaten at Chipotle a handful of times but I remember liking their beef so I thought this would be a good place to start.  So we made this in the Instant Pot but you could instead cook it in a dutch oven on the stove on low heat; it would just take probably at least 8 hours instead of 1!

2-3 lb beef roast  /  1 tbsp grape seed oil (or other cooking oil of your choice)  /  4 cloves of garlic /  2 chipotles in adobe sauce /  juice of 1 lime  /  1 tsp ground cumin  /  1 tsp oregano /  1/2 tsp ground cloves  /  1 tsp onion powder  /  1 cup water  /  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  /  2 tsp salt (or to taste)  /  1 tsp freshly ground black pepper  /  1 tbsp tomato paste  /   3 bay leaves


Using a hand blender or a regular blend, puree the garlic, chipotles, lime juice, cumin, oregano, cloves, onion powder, water, vinegar, salt, pepper and tomato paste until you get a smooth sauce.  Cut up your roast into roughly 3 inch cubes.  With the Instant Pot, set it to ‘Saute’ and add the grape seed oil when hot and sautee the beef until browned on all sides.


Add the pureed sauce and the bay leaves and then clamp the lid on.  Set the Instant Pot to ‘Manual’ and choose ‘high pressure’ and let it cook away for 55 minutes.  Apparently you can release the pressure in the Instant Pot either manually or you can let it do it by itself slowly but I was impatient so we did it manually.


Take the beef out and using 2 forks, simply shred it and then add back in some of the sauce. This was my first time cooking with a pressure cooker and I was pretty impressed; it’s cool to be able to cook something that usually takes many hours in a fraction of the time.


Anyway, the beef turned out great and really tender.  We slapped together some quesadillas with the beef and monterey jack cheese and served it with a quick guacamole, some greek yogurt and cilantro and since then, Rock’s polished off the leftovers. So, success!




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