Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chipotle's Copycat Barbacoa


Chipotle's famous barbacoa is the Mexican barbecue of my dreams.  With this amazing copycat recipe 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.

My sister in law treated Chad and I to Chipotle's for lunch about 6 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 year I have created copycat recipes of Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice 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, cilantro lime rice, 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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Check out our favorite Chipotle's copycat burrito fillings.  Click on the link or image to open recipe in a new window.
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.

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


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

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 canned chipotle peppers (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!

*Cook’s note:  to prepare the sauce without a blender, mince the garlic and chipotle peppers.  Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.


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


  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;-)

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

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

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

    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)

  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.

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


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