Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

I made this sweet/spicy/succulent beef in my Instant Pot.  You could make it in a slow-cooker (over 8-10 hrs) or in the oven (300F for 3-4 hrs) if you like.

It is so tasty, served with corn tortillas, salsa, sliced jalapeño, and/or guacamole.  Whatever toppings you like, or no toppings at all.  Be sure to reserve some of the sauce, however. It’s divine and keeps any leftovers tasty and juicy!

This recipe was adapted ever-so-slightly from The Stay at Home Chef

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 90 min (inactive)
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 40 min
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican



For the Beef:

  • 1 3-to-5 lb Chuck Roast or Brisket
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • 2 Dried New Mexico Chile Peppers
  • 2 Dried Ancho Chile Peppers
  • 1 Chipotle in Adobo plus a little of the Adobo (12 tsp)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 c Beer (any type), water, or stock, plus extra if necessary to thin sauce

For Serving:

  • Any of the Following (or none of the following, as you wish):  warm tortillas, chopped lettuce, tomatoes or onions, sliced jalapeño, salsa, guacamole, radishes, chopped cilantro, cheese – whatever you like!


Soften Peppers ahead of time:

  1. Place dried peppers in a zippered plastic bag, or a bowl, and cover with water. Let soak until softened, 1-4 hours. Stem and seed the peppers when softened.

Prepare the Beef:

  1. Generously salt and pepper all sides of the Beef Roast. In the Instant Pot, sear all sides of the beef in 2 T olive oil.  (If you don’t mind forgoing some crispy bits of beef, you can skip this part – I’ve made it both ways, and it’s delicious either way!) Place the beef in the Instant Pot.
  2. In a blender or food processor, add the re-hydrated, stemmed and seeded peppers, chipotle in adobo, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, oregano, cinnamon, oil, and beer (or stock or water). Blend until smooth.  You may need a bit of additional liquid for this, I ended up using 1/2 c beer.
  3. Pour the sauce over the beef. Cover the Instant Pot, set to Manual Pressure cook for 60 – 70 minutes. My roast was 3.5 lb, and I set to 60 minutes. It was perfect! For a 5-lb roast, I’d go 70 minutes.  After Pressure Cook is complete, let steam come down naturally.
  4. Shred Cooked beef, with 2 forks. It should virtually fall apart at this point.  Place in a bowl or on a platter and spoon extra cooking sauce over – it should be pretty thinned out at this point.
  5. Serve alone as a main dish or as tacos or burritos, however you like.

Keywords: Beef, barbacoa, Mexican, Instant pot

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