Not Really Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef

By: Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough

Not Really Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time: 90 minutes

Servings: 4-6 servings



1 teaspoon olive oil

2 pounds boneless beef chuck cut into 2 inch pieces; or beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch pieces

Up to 6 medium garlic cloves minced (2 tablespoons)

2 canned chipotle chilesadobo sauce stemmed, cored, and minced (seeded, if desired— and gluten-free, if necessary)

1 tablespoon mild paprika

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can or a chipotle-flavored hot sauce such as Cholula (either gluten-free, if necessary)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons regular or low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari sauce

3/4 cup beef broth



  1. Press Sauté and set for Medium, Normal or Custom 300°F. Set the time for 10 minutes.

  2. As the pot heats, warm the oil in the insert set in a 5- or 6-quart Instant Pot. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, until it browns, about 6 minutes. Get good color on some of the pieces (although there will be a lot of boiling juices in the pot). Stir in the garlic and minced chipotle until aromatic, just a few seconds.

  3. Stir in the paprika, cumin, onion powder, and pepper. Warm by stirring a few times, then stir in the adobo sauce, vinegar, lime juice, and soy or tamari sauce. Scrape up any browned bits on the pot’s bottom and turn off the heat. Stir in the broth until uniform. Lock the lid on the pot.

  4. Pressure Cook: Set the Instant Pot for Pressure Cook or Manual and set the level to High. The valve must be closed. Set the time for 35 minutes with the Keep Warm Setting off.
    Slow Cook: Set the Instant Pot for Slow Cook. Set the level to High. The valve must be open. Set the time for 4 hours.

  5. When the pot has finished cooking under pressure, turn it off and let the pressure return to normal naturally, about 35 minutes. Whichever cooking method you’ve used, unlatch the lid and open the cooker.

  6. Use two forks to shred the beef right in the pot. Stir it into the sauce and set the pot aside for 2 to 3 minutes so that the meat continues to absorb the juices. Serve warm.


Recipe Notes

For a 3-quart Instant Pot, you must halve almost all of the ingredient amounts except you must use 1/2 cup broth.

For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must increase almost all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent except you must use 1 1/4 cups broth.

For a 10-quart Instant Pot, you must double almost all of the ingredient amounts except you must use 2 cups broth.

Serve in flour or corn tortillas with hot sauce (or salsa), sliced avocado, sliced radishes, and/or diced mango.