Amazing Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa

Makes a LOT — how's that for exact?!

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3-4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat and shiny silver sinew

16 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. ancho chile powder

1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 whole chipotle chile en adobo

1 tbsp. adobo sauce

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

2 bay leaves


The night before: Place brisket in a large resealable bag. In a blender, combine tomatoes with juice, cumin, chile powder, cocoa powder, oregano, vinegar, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour marinade into the bag over brisket, making sure that all sides are coated. Seal bag tightly, removing as much air as possible, and place it in a baking dish (in case anything leaks). Place in the refrigerator overnight, turning at least once.

The next day: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place brisket and marinade in a Dutch oven. Add bay leaves. On the stove, bring just to a simmer over high heat. Then cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 4 hours, until meat is fork tender and shreds easily.

Remove meat from the cooking liquid (reserve), discard bay leaves, and allow meat to cool for about 15 minutes. Shred the brisket with two forks, and transfer to a bowl. Skim any fat off of the top of the cooking liquid and then pour about 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat to keep it moist.