Delicious Pressure Cooker Beef Barbacoa

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 65
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Category: Beef, Mexican
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Beef, Mexican

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  • 4lbs chuck roast
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbl tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbl lime juice
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • 12 tsp adobo sauce (more means it’s hotter)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup beef stock stock (or water)
  • 34 Tbl chopped cilantro plus additional for garnish
  • 1 4 ounce can, chopped green chilies
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. In a blender, combine the vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, pepper, salt, lime juice, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, sugar and stock. Blend to combine.
  2. In a 6qrt pressure cooker or larger, add the oil and turn on the brown/sautee feature. Once the oil is hot add the beef (if it doesn’t completely lie flat, cut it up into pieces and add the pieces in intervals). Sear all of the sides until it forms a nice brown crust.
  3. Next, add the bay leaves, green chilies, and the liquid from the blender. Lock the lid, set the timer for 65 minutes on high. When the timer is done, shut the pressure cooker off and let it perform a natural release.
  4. Once pressure is released (~10-15 minutes), using tongs, take out the beef pieces placing them either into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or on a plate. If using the mixer, turn it on and mix just until the beef is shredded (leave some chunks). If doing it by hand, use 2 forks and shred the beef. Remember you want some bigger pieces.
  5. With the liquid still in the pressure cooker, remove the bay leaves (discarding them) and place the shredded beef back into the liquid. Add in the cilantro, stir and let it rest in the liquid for 10 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the beef and serve or place in a lidded container. *If you want, prior to serving you can pop the beef under a broiler to get some charred ends. Broil for 1-3 minutes.
  7. With regards for the liquid, you can discard or, after straining the fat out, freeze it for later uses. It’s great as a liquid for dirty rice, pasta dishes and quinoa.
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