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Mexican Barbacoa Beef Recipe

A traditional Mexican Barbacoa Beef recipe, perfect for wraps.
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4 hours +


Serves 4

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Main ingredients

  • 1 kg beef brisket
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 175 ml dark ale or beef stock
  • 60 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 0.5 tsp ground cloves

Barbacoa Sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp chipotle powder


  • Step 1 : Prepare the beef

    Cut the beef brisket into large chunks. If using diced beef skip this step.

    Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.

    Add a dash of oil to a large pan and heat to a high heat so that the meat will sear. Add in the beef in chunks and brown on all sides. You want a proper sear to add flavour.

    When browned, remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

  • Step 2 : Prepare the sauce

    Put all of the ingredients for the barbacoa sauce together in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth sauce.

  • Step 3 : Cook the Barbacoa Beef

    To cook the beef you have a few options.

    You can place the beef in a slow cooker, cover it with the sauce, and cook on low for 8 hours.

    You can also place all of the ingredients together in a casserole dish/Dutch Oven and put in a preheated oven at 160C/140 Fan/Gas Mark 3 for three and a half hours. Cover the lid with foil to prevent too much steam from escaping and the beef drying out.

  • Step 4 : Serve

    To serve, all you have to do is take out the beef and shred with a pair of forks, similar to how one would prepare pulled pork.

    You can then serve the shredded beef in wraps, on tacos, on nachos, as part of a burrito bowl, or anything else that you fancy!

    A very simple serving suggestion is over rice with the sauce on top and a side serving of sliced avocados and salsa.