Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chipotle's Copycat Barbacoa (With NEW VIDEO)

 

Chipotle's famous barbacoa is the Mexican barbecue of my dreams.  With this amazing copycat recipe (made in a crockpot) it can be a reality for you.  Seared beef is slow cooked in a spectacular spicy adobo sauce and combination of flavors that create the perfect moist and tender Mexican shredded beef.

Check out the new VIDEO.


PLEASE PAUSE A MOMENT WHILE THE VIDEO LOADS

My sister-in-law treated Chad and me to Chipotle's for lunch about 7 years ago, and I have been hooked ever since.  As I have confessed before, I love the food at some restaurants, but for so many reasons eating out is completely lost on me.  Over the last few years I have created make at home versions for many of our favorite Chipotle recipes: Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice, Roasted-Chile Corn Salsa, Pork Carnitas and Guacamole.
 Once again, I began researching and taste testing to develop my copycat recipe.  Once the dish was complete I hosted an awesome party and invited my friends to partake in a burrito bar starring our Chipotle's Copycat Barbacoa.  It's tender and moist seared beef, braised in an incredible blend of adobo, lime, cumin, garlic and oregano that come together to blow away any barbacoa you have ever tasted.

Burritos loaded with pico de gallo, Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice and Guacamole and barbacoa were the star of the party and our guests are patiently waiting on the recipe.  Well here it is.  Enjoy!

With love from our kitchen table to yours.

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http://theslowroasteditalian-printablerecipe.blogspot.com/2014/02/chipotles-copycat-barbacoa.html

Check out our favorite Chipotle's copycat burrito fillings.  Click on the link or image to open recipe in a new window.

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/10/the-best-ever-guacamole-copycat-chipotle-restaurant-recipe.html

The Best Ever Guacamole Chipotle's Restaurant Copycat is loaded with fresh avocado and bits of onion, jalapeno and citrus juices to perfectly balance this mildly spicy guacamole.

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2012/09/better-than-chipotle-cilantro-lime-rice.html

Copycat Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice - citrus juices and cilantro make for a very bright and scrumptious side dish!

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2011/10/pico-de-gallo.html

Fresh Pico de Gallo is loaded with all your favorite salsa flavors!  Fresh plum tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, garlic and so much flavor it will blow your mind!!!

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Chipotle's Copycat Barbacoa
SERVES 12  |  ACTIVE TIME 15 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 6 Hours 15 Min

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3-4 pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves

Sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
6 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
4 chipotle peppers (from a can, packed in adobo sauce)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)
1 cup chicken broth (or 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon chicken base)
¼ cup fresh lime juice

Prepare roast.  Make sure all visible fat is trimmed.  Cut into 8 chunks.  Sprinkle all sides of cut beef with ½ of the salt (1 teaspoon), reserving the remaining 1 teaspoon.  Set aside.

In a blender or food processor combine the sauce ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.  If you do not have a food processor or blender, see cook’s note.

Warm a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, until water dripped over top sizzles.  Add oil.  Sear all sides of cut beef.  Once all sides are seared, place seared beef into slow cooker.  Set slow cooker temperature to high.  Pour sauce over top. Add bay leaves. Cook for 5-6 hours on high (or 8 hours on low) covered.

After about 5 hours (or 7 hours on low) shred beef using 2 forks to pull it apart.  Taste, and add additional teaspoon of salt (as needed), stir to completely coat in sauce.  Cover and cook for 1 more hour.  After this time you can serve and enjoy or turn slow cooker to warm until ready to serve.

To create burrito:  Layer* pico de gallo, Chipotle’s Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice and Chipotle’s Copycat Barbacoa on a large flour tortilla.  Additional toppings of Chipotle’s Copycat Guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese are also exceptional. *Click on link for recipes

Serve and enjoy!

DONNA'S NOTES:  to prepare the sauce without a blender, mince the garlic and chipotle peppers.  Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

PRINT RECIPE

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2014 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

107 comments:

  1. We were excited to find your barbacoa recipe that is like Chipotle's and even more excited to see the other items you have developed to go with it too! Now we are planning our next office party like the bar you did and think it will be great. Thanks for the great recipe's;-)

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  2. Awesome! Let us know how it goes. Enjoy.

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  3. The recipe says to reserve 1tsp salt but then never says where to add it.

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    1. Except that yes, it does. "taste, and add additional teaspoon of salt (as needed)"

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    2. After about 5 hours (or 7 hours on low) shred beef using 2 forks to pull it apart. Taste, and add additional teaspoon of salt (as needed)

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    3. It is included in the 4th paragraph of prep, second sentence.

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  4. I believe you add the additional salt (if needed) after shredding the meat and combining
    it with the sauce, but before the last hour of cooking.

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  5. Wow... I used 4 CANS of chipole peppers in adobe..... reading fail... WAY too spicy

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    1. Oh yes. That would be awful. 4 chipotle peppers from 1 can. I would try it again, it is definitely worth it! Enjoy.

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    2. *in Nelson's voice while pointing at you* HA HA.

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    3. HA HA *IN NELSON'S VOICE WHILE POINTING AT YOU*

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  6. The smell will knock you back about 10 feet. Very strong! Doesn't remind me of chipotle's barbacoa at ALL.. :( Followed instructions to a T!

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    1. Wow, we have served this recipe to our Chipotle lovin' southwestern friends many times and it is always amazing. I am sorry to hear you had trouble. I would be more than happy to walk you through the recipe and see where it went wrong.

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    2. That was a very cool and helpful response. I'm a little curious to try this but my wife isn't into spice as much as I am.

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    3. this is not barbacoa shedded beef yes and Im sure it is good but not barbacoa. Barbacoa is made with cheek meat salt and a little garlic that ia all

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  7. Absolutely delish! Making this for the third time in six weeks. As a Chipotle addict, this is the real deal and saves me so much $$$. Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. this was the review i was looking for, as some copycat recipes dont always taste the same.

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  8. Hi Donna, I made this earlier tonight, and loved it! I have a question though: I have a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breast laying around, and was wondering if I could substitute that for the chuck?

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    1. I am so happy you loved it! I would totally try it with the chicken. Let us know how it goes. I am thinking of doing the same. Enjoy!

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    2. I had a ton of extra sauces in the crockpot so I put a couple of chicken breasts in as well. Both the beef and the chicken tastes superb.

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  9. Loved the recipe, but will try cutting down on the chipotles next time. I loved it, but spice-phobic hubs was spice phobic. My son who claims to hate spicy at a lot of it, though (as well as the cilantro lime rice). We served ours as burrito bowls/salads as we didn't have tortillas large enough for the burritos.

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    1. Susan, I am so happy you all loved it. It would be perfect as a burrito bowl or salad too.

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  10. bay leaves: fresh or dried?
    thanks

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  11. I've made the barbacoa about 4 times now, and it's been delicious every time, and so tender. For a friend who likes his barbacoa spicy I sometimes add an extra chipotle pepper, but for me the recipe as written is just right. I love to serve it with the Cilantro Lime Rice.

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  12. Please stop posting these fabulous Chipotle copykat recipes. My husband has done very well with investing in Chipotle stock. Do you not care if I ever get to retire?

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    Replies
    1. No. Nobody cares about your retirement. We are all worried about our own. Keep the recipes coming!

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    2. No. No one cares about your retirement. We are all worrying about our own. Keep the recipes coming!

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    3. I'm 8 hours from a Chipotle, you weren't getting my custom anyway.

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    4. Oy, please tell me you're joking or you're one selfish sob

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    5. lol, like a recipe will stop people from going to Chipotle! I hope that wasn't a serious post...some people!

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    6. JEEZ PEOPLE !!!! It's called HUMOR. Type the word "humor" in the Google machine and check out the results. Like our old friend The Joker always asks. "Why so seriousssssss ?" :D

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  13. My new favorite recipe!!!

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  14. Made it today, and it was AWESOME. I used about half of the garlic (personal preference) and a new pepper-flavored apple cider vinegar that had at the store. Fantastic!!

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  15. All I need now is their corn salsa recipe and I'm in heaven!

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    Replies
    1. YES! That's what i want, too!

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    2. Oh that's easy. I've been making it for years. I use 4 cans corn (drained), about 1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped), 1 jalapeno (seeded and finely chopped), about 1/4 medium red onion (finely chopped). Combine. Add freshly ground black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste) and....the secret ingredient....about 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (to taste). I always get compliments on it when I take it to potluck dinners. Sorry for all the "about" and "to taste" but that's how I cook. :-)

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  16. It's in my crockpot now and there are no words for how amazing my house smells!

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  17. Do you think this would work if i made the sauce and used chicken breast instead of roast?

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    Replies
    1. It will work, but of course the flavor will be different and watch your cook time. Let us know how it goes. Enjoy!

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  18. Excellent recipe... crockpot makes all the difference.
    Roger Biduk

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  19. I'm about 5 hours into it (smells awesome). My question is, it seems to make a lot of "juice" more than sauce. Did you thicken yours at the end?

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    Replies
    1. Once you pull the meat apart it will absorb the juices. Enjoy!

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  20. Can you please give me recommendations for slow cooker? I don't have any but would love to try this. I want something healthy, so no teflon cover pls

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  21. Please recommend a slow cooker. I am new to this and lots of choices outhere.

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  22. I used pork and added 2 thinly sliced onions and it was wonderfu;l. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Both are great(beef & Pork) or mix them up together....Mexican restrurants will usually give you a choice of "Beef or Pork" in any recipe ...I'm more a "pork girl", when it comes to these or enchillatas...

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  23. We moved to New Zealand last year and Chipotle is one of the things we miss most about the states! Thanks for sharing, can't wait to try this!

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  24. This was so good... and almost exactly like Chipotle's. Especially the next day. Also so easy.

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    Replies
    1. How much meat did you use?

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  25. How much meat are you supposed to use?

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    Replies
    1. Your answer is in line 2 of the ingredients list in the recipe above.

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    2. Clearly states in the recipe: 3 to 4 lb chuck roast!

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  26. For the folks using the leftover juice and/or substituting chicken, Chipotle uses thighs, not breasts. Marinated in adobo and then grilled.

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  27. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Tried all the side dishes too. All tasted awesome! My 11 yr old son gave it a thumbs up and said it was better than the Chipotle version. Sharing the recipe w/my family and friends.

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  28. I am going to try this with a Venison roast, I do not usually buy beef if I can help it. Should be delicious.

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  29. Way too spicy to the point all of us found it inedible!!! Tastes NOTHING like chipotles barbacoa!!! Complete waste of time!

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    1. Kaitlin, did you use 4 chipotles from the can or 4 cans of chipotles? Sorry to hear you had difficulty.

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    2. I agree... I used 4 peppers and 1tlb spoon of the sauce from the can... yikes! My mouth is on FIRE! I will try just 2 peppers next time.... my lips are burning I am in pain.... also i have copy cat this recipe from other sites before too...so not my first time

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    3. Same here, made it tonight, followed the recipe exactly (4 peppers plus 1 T of sauce) and it was too spicy, I actually have burns on my lips from eating a small nibble of it (taste testing before putting it on the dinner table). Smells great though, just incredibly spicy. If you like things extra spicy/hot, you'd probably like it. Next time I'd only do 1 pepper and half the sauce maybe??

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  30. Nicely done. Made for a great taco night at our house today.

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  31. What size crock pot did you use? would a 4 quart one be large enough?

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  32. We used a pressure cooker to cut down the time after we brown the meat we added the rest of the ingredient's for an 1 hr and 30 min....it turned out great thanks for the recipe!!

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  33. Thank you for this recipe a total addictive hit in my family,it's expensive sometimes to go out and get Chipotle with a single income families of 6,this is so wonderful, and the great things you can do with the leftovers ,burritos, tostadas with beans and the meat topped with lettuce,or sopes.....so versatile.

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  34. This is a really good copycat. So good that I finished more than half of my first burrito before realizing I forgot the cheese. :) Thanks!

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  35. Tastes good with 1stp ofsalt but I am glad Ionly added 2 chipotle peppers and not 4. Might be too spicy for my small men (they'll get extra sour creme) but it is good for the adults. Thank you for sharing.

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  36. I loved this! I put it over a pork butt (had to get it used up) and it was so good! My linebacker boyfriend even loved it! I ate mine as a lettuce wrap with some cilantro, lime, and a little extra salsa!

    This is a new staple in our household!

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  37. OK, just thought I would add some facts. First off barbacoa is sheep, or mutton, cooked in a hole in the ground and has nothing like chipotle or the other ingredients. It is very tender mutton served for tacos, burritos or however you want to eat it. It's served with a consume made from the juices of the meat. It has nothing to do with beef or chipotle. It's also not mexican barbecue, it has nothing to do with barbecue. Common misconception of those in the us. What chipotles is calling barbacoa is not, it's shredded beef seasoned in chipotle sauce. We have shredded beef in chipotle sauce at home here in mexico, but it's totally different. Barbacoa you serve it's just meat, you make taco's, etc, add chopped onion, cilantro, salsa, etc. and eat with the consume. Nothing to do with barbecue. Just setting the record straight, there's a lot of mexican food in the us that is not really mexican food or misnamed as is this.

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    1. Thank You
      Drives me nuts when they don't do research.

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    2. I bet you are a lot of fun at parties

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    3. Bud, Relax. It's a burrito place. No one is claiming it's the epitome of authentic Mexican cuisine.

      And you're wrong, Barbacoa most certainly can be beef. Beef tongue and cheek Barbacoa is a staple in most Sunday breakfast for Mexican households at either side of the Texas boarder. YOU'RE region might do it different, but that's how cuisine works. Which is why in US America we also have a name for barbecue (derives from Barbacoa), and practically each region does it WAY different too.

      Its origins are from the METHOD, yes, but cultural influences change as well, so you have that too.

      Don't be a sour puss.

      (Am Mexican without a complex)

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  38. I never, ever comment on anything. Ever. But, this recipe needs to be praised. We've moved away from our beloved Chipotle and miss the barbacoa. I tried a few other copy cat recipes I found online and it just wasn't right. This recipe, however, nailed it. It tasted exactly like Chipotle (and I was lazy and didn't brown the meat). While this technically isn't barbacoa in the truest sense, it is in the Chipotle sense. If you're looking for an authentic "barbacoa" this isn't it. If you're looking for a Chipotle barbacoa, then this is the ONLY recipe to use. Thank you!

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  39. Just wanted to say thank you again for a great meal. We follow the recipe to the letter and it comes out perfect every time. Thank you so much!

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  40. Made this tonight with the rice. Family loved it. Rave reviews from all my guys. I've never eaten at a Chipotle before so I can't compare but we loved it. I just need to learn to not put so much in each burrito. :-)

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  41. How do you think this be if beef was substituted w/ shredded chicken breasts?

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  42. As a broke college student with none of the ingredients needed for this in my pantry, it was quite the investment ($50) but so worth it! I made the cilantro-lime rice too and made tacos, can't wait to use the leftovers tomorrow (and the rest of the week) for burrito bowls! And can't wait till next time when it's not so expensive to make because i'll already have the basic ingredients! Thanks!

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  43. Made this last night. Came out great..however, one thing that occurred to me was how much flavor was left behind in the fond in the pan used to sear the meat. Next time I might try using a dutch oven rather than a slow cooker so I can cook in the same pot that the meat was browned in. Either that or pour the chicken stock into the pan after browning the meat to deglaze it and use this to make the sauce.

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    Replies
    1. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth before adding it to the slow cooker. Gets all of those nice brown bits!

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  44. ^^^ I am doing exactly this; I seared the meat (60 oz chuck roast with 10 oz fat removed!) in a Dutch oven, used the stock to deglaze it, add the sauce and mixed well, added the meat and the juices from standing, and tucked in the bay leaves. I'm going to cook it (covered) in the oven for 3.5-4 hours at 275. I'm sure it will come out great--smells delicious already.

    I don't know if I just got a super-fatty chuck roast, but are there any other cuts of meat that will work well for this recipe?

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  45. True barbacoa is meat from a cows head.

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  46. Made this last week with pork and was great!! I used the whole can (small) of chipotles and Adobe as I didn't have a use for the rest of the can and didn't want to waste it. Was probably 6-7 peppers and it came out perfect! I didn't have clove so ommited that as well. Plan to make it again!

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  47. Oh and I added a little brown sugar!

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  48. Making this right now but also added some thyme and a half orange worth of juice. Smells delicious!

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  49. Well, I've never eaten at Chipotle's, although there is one about 10 miles away. But I made this yesterday and WOW! Now my mouth is watering just thinking about it and I'll be fixing up the (very few) leftovers in just a minute. I made the whole deal. Once again, Donna, I'm grateful to you down to my socks!

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    1. Anna, you totally made my day. This is one of my favorite dishes and I am so happy you loved it! Thank you so much for your comment.

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  50. Is it possible to half this recipe with the same results? Family of two, don't want too many leftovers but am dying to try the recipe! Love Chipotle!

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    1. I would think you could freeze half of this. At my house, I have to double it. 2 kids of my own, two extra kids, a husband, and I will have a stray friend or two show up when word gets around I'm making this. 😄

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  51. THANKS so much for this recipe!! It was a great one and definitely lived up to its copy cat tastes. WE ate it as a burrito bowl the black beans, lime rice ( mrs Dash fiesta lime seasoning) , avocado, mild fresh salsa with a bag of thawed frozen corn added a squeeze of lime juice and chopped romaine--- SUPER delish-- my kids rated t an 8.5 out of 10 but said if I had chips with it -- 10

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    1. I am so happy to hear you all loved it! I love the burritos bowls with pinto beans, I am going to have to try black beans next time I make it and you will be happy to know I have the roasted chili-corn salsa coming up soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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  52. Any idea on how to make Chipotle's Medium Green Tomatillo Salsa??? That is the only thing I am missing now LOL I am super addicted to Chipotle. I am going to try all of these recipes. My favorite go to is the chicken burrito bowl with black beans and lots of the green salsa.

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    1. It is on my list, Lisa! I love it too. Promise it is coming soon. It is a bit of work, but sooo worth it. I am hooked on the barbacoa and the carnitas, but I am going to try the chicken bowl next time now that you mentioned it. Enjoy the recipes and let me know how it goes.

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  53. I would love to try this recipe but I do not like very spicy food
    I have just acquired a taste for foods with just a hint of spice.could you tell me what to omit or what ingredients I could use less of to achieve less spice without ruining the overall outcome.

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    Replies
    1. I do not find this to be too spicy. The chipotle peppers and adobo are adding the heat and flavor, so I would cut the chipotle peppers down to 2. That will make this recipe very mild (but will also effect the flavor), so try not to reduce them by too much. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

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  54. I just made this with only 2lbs of meat. It turned out incredible. Tastes better than chipotle. My boyfriend doesn't like spicy food, so I just used 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce from the can, and left out the chilies completely and it worked great. Just enough spice from the adobo sauce!

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  55. Is it okay not to put so much the Chilean I cannot handle too much spice will that changed anything if I cut it from 4 to 2

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  56. Made this last night. Really good! Was initially worried about it being too spicy for us but it was perfect! We are so glad to find your site and can't wait to try other recipes!

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  57. WHAT a homerun! totally amazing and insanely delicious. followed the recipe to the T and everyone, kids included, devoured it. So easy too. Many thanks for sharing such a sensational dis!

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  58. Thank you for posting this! Today I just made Sonoran Style shredded beef. (AZ native, been away and miss it) It was ok and now with finding yours I can just make this one cuz I do love Chipotles Barbaccoa! Recipe is very similar with added lime and more dry spice.. I look forward to it! Thanks!!

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  59. I made this today and the flavor is so complex it is unreal. It made the best street-style soft taco I have ever eaten. I followed this recipe exactly and it is amazing, just like Chipotle, but somehow even better. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!

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  60. I have made this recipe more times than I can count, it is ALWAYS fabulous. Even my kiddos (2, 4 and 6) enjoy it, and my in laws and own parents have frequently requested it for family dinners. I also make the cilantro lime rice, corn salsa, and guac (but I add salsa to mine) and it's seriously the bomb. Please keep making copycat recipes!! Haha :-)

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    1. That is awesome Sarah! Sounds like a party to me. You keep making the recipe and we will keep creating them.

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  61. Didn't read all of the comments yet, but . . do you have a hack for Instant Pot recipe? Please?

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  62. I have made this many times and it's the bomb! What if I used flank steak? Would I have to alter the cooking time in the crock pot?

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