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tacos de barbacoa served with corn tortillas and lime wedges
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5 from 1 vote

Tacos de Barbacoa

Authentic, succulent long simmered meat served on a corn tortilla with fresh cilantro and onion.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Course: dinner, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: authentic, tacos
Servings: 12
Calories: 375kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $8.50


  • Oven
  • Blender


  • 4-5 lbs chuck roast, beef
  • 6 dried ancho chilies
  • 3 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1 onion plus more for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika sweet, not smoked
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz lager beer, ginger ale, additional chicken stock or water
  • 1 lime plus more for serving
  • corn tortillas for serving
  • minced onion for serving
  • chopped cilantro for serving


  • Remove stems and seeds from chili pods by tearing off stems, and ripping pod open with thumb; shake seeds out.
  • Peel onion and chop into quarters.
  • Smash and peel garlic cloves.
  • Add chilies, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and chicken stock to a sauce pan and simmer on medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes until chilies are soft. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Puree chilies and stock mixture until smooth.
  • Salt and pepper all sides of the beef roast.
  • In a dutch oven on medium high heat, sear all sides of the roast until a dark crust forms. You don't need to use oil here.
  • Pour pureed chili mixture over seared beef.
  • Pour in additional liquid such as stock, beer, ginger ale or water and add bay leaves. Squeeze the juice of a lime over everything.
  • Cover meat loosely with foil or lid, and cook at 275 degrees for 5-7 hours until fall apart tender. Occasionally spoon or baste liquid over meat.
  • Use two forks, dull knives, or metal spatula to chunk the meat up into small pieces. Toss with remaining liquid in pan.
  • Serve on corn tortillas with minced onion, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.


  • Usually, stems and seeds can be removed by hand by tearing them off and shaking the seeds out. 
  • Ancho chilies provide a deep, chocolaty flavor, while Guajilla are a staple in Mexican cooking.
  • Sear the beef in the same dutch oven that you are going to braise it in. Don't use oil unless your pan is particularly stubborn with sticking. 
  • Use beer, stock, ginger ale or water as additional liquid, keeping in mind that sweeter is better. 
  • Don't serve with an abundance of toppings. The meat is the point of these tacos. 
  • Store prepared barbacoa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Serving: 2g | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 955mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4900IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 5mg