Sunday, February 12, 2012

Barbacoa Tacos with Avocado Ranch Dressing

If you've ever been to Chipotle, you might have tried their Barbacoa meat.  I discovered this recipe for Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef on Pinterest.  It claims to be similar to Chipotle's recipe, but you can make it in the slow cooker.  There is a lot of flavor going on in this recipe.  I wasn't sure about adding cloves to the sauce, but they weren't over-powering.  I did cut the amount in half, though.  I used my Magic Bullet knock-off to mix up the sauce for the meat.  Below is a recipe for ranch dressing that is very simple and quite tasty.  To make it more Mexican, I added an avocado before I pureed everything together.  I like to garnish these simply with the ranch dressing below and chopped red onion.  It would also be good to make a burrito bowl like you can get at Chipotle with cilantro lime rice and black beans!

Barbacoa Tacos with Avocado Ranch Dressing
4 chipotle peppers (from one small can) plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
5 dry bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cloves (I only used one teaspoon)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 to 7 pounds beef brisket (I used a 4 pound brisket and kept the cooking time the same)
4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock.

Stir together chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker (if you have a food processor, pulse till combined first before adding). Place the brisket on top of this mixture. Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM and let sit for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker and use two forks to pull the meat apart.  Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

Serve with fresh tortillas, onion, and avocado ranch dressing (below).

Avocado Ranch Dressing
adapted from Smells Like Home

3/4 cup light mayo
3/4 cup light sour cream
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
1 small bunch of chives or 2 scallions, roughly chopped
Small handful of parsley
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium avocado (optional-leave out for traditional ranch dressing)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  I ended up using about 1 cup of buttermilk.  Start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed.


  1. I think I need to make this recipe next! The dressing sounds so good on them.