Beef Barbacoa (Party Meat) | Barbacoa de Res

Barbacoa Taco by Flan and Apple Pie

Photo by Flan and Apple Pie

6-10 lbs whole boneless beef chuck roast
2 bay leaves

Ingredients (meat marinade):
12 dried pasilla chiles
1 ½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon oregano
8 garlic cloves peeled
1 large lemon freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar


  1. Clean chiles with damp paper towel and remove stems and seeds. If you like a little spice, leave some with seeds. Soak dried chiles in very hot water for 15 minutes or until soft. Reserve juice for later use.
  2. Blend chiles, salt, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, and ginger oh high setting until smooth. If necessary, add some of the chile broth to get the blender going. Mixture should be the consistency of barbeque sauce. Taste for salt. It should be on the salty side, because this is the only salt that will be used to season the meat.
  3. Place roast in crockpot and coat well with sauce on both sides. Pour additional sauce over meat. Add 2 cups chile broth, bay leaves, and vinegar to crockpot.
  4. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. You will know that the meat is ready when it shreds easily.
  5. Shred and serve with dinner rolls or with corn tortillas topped with diced onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and Tomatillo Salsa with Dry Arbol Chile.

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  1. I was reminded this past weekend, after making this recipe, how much I love the “party” meat. It’s always a hit, simple to make and everyone loves to gobble it up. Note: If you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake, I actually don’t add the full amount of salt the recipe calls for, and you still get a great flavor. I would say about 2 tsp. is plenty. This is the perfect dish that can be made in advance, and really kick up your taco bar!

  2. Hola Lola!
    I was looking through your recipes because I would love to try some more out, and of course, I LOVE barbacoa. Does this recipe call for regular pasilla chiles or Oaxacan pasillas? GRACIAS 😉

    1. Hola, Nicole! I use regular pasilla chiles for this recipe. I don’t know if this is “authentic” barbacoa, but that’s what we’ve always called it in my family (or “party meat” since we make it for big parties). Whatever it is, I can assure you that it’s delicious! I made it for a cooking demo when I lived in San Diego and one guy said it changed his life!

      I usually make the sauce, rub it all over the meat, and cook it in the crockpot on low for about 10 hours or until it falls apart.

  3. Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad I have all the ingredients. I would love to make it some time this week. It is perfect crockpot weather…a little too hot to turn on the oven 🙂 and the perfect time of year for this type of dish.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      I leave the meat whole. When it’s ready it’ll pretty much fall apart when you shred it with two forks. Let me know how it turns out! I just made some this weekend and stuffed some empanadas with it. They were great.