Slow-cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

From my Slow Cooker Recipes book, this slow-cooker shredded beef is very similar to Chipotle barbacoa. Beef chuck roast is cooked with a sauce made from guajillo chiles, jalapeños, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, mustard seed and allspice, with a little vinegar and Worcestershire. Use it in burritos, tacos, potato chip nachos, on super nachos, or on a taco salad. Leftover shredded beef can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.

Slow Cooker shredded beef tacos recipe

copycat chipotle barbacoa



Slow Cooker Mexican-Style Shredded Beef

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  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Yield: 10-12 1x


  • 34 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles (or 2 tablespoons chili powder)
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed (de-seed for less spicy tacos)
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (56 cloves garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed (or 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (or 1 allspice berry)


  1. Trim excess fat from the roast and put it in the slow cooker.
  2. Break the stems from the guajillo chiles and shake out the seeds. Rinse the chiles and put them in a pot. Add 1 cup water and boil 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain and discard liquid.
  3. Put the chiles and everything else in a blender and puree.
  4. Pour this over the roast.
  5. Cover and cook 10 hours on low, or 5-6 on high or until beef is fork-tender.
  6. Shred the meat with two large forks and mix with the sauce.


If using chili powder rather than whole chiles, skip the boiling step and just put everything in the blender together.

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copycat chipotle barbacoa


  1. Beth on July 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Hilah, do you use the organic apple cider with live cultures or just like, Heinz or something? I ask because I did a pulled pork with the organic and it was very puckery.

    • Hilah on July 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Beth!
      I love this question. It’s made me think. I do always buy the unfiltered vinegar because I mostly use it uncooked in salads and things and I think the cultures are a healthy addition to the diet. For something like this, of course, the heat would probably deactivate the cultures so it wouldn’t matter.

      BUT the interesting part that I’d never thought about before is that when you buy “live” vinegar, does it continue to ferment in your cabinet and become more and more tart over time? Seems like it would! Do you remember if your vinegar was just bought or if it had been opened for a while?

  2. Erik on July 15, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    No other liquid besides the vinegar?

    • Hilah on July 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Nope! Slow cookers are a closed system that retain all the liquid with almost no evaporation. The final result is tender and saucy! Promise.

  3. Jessica Reader on July 17, 2016 at 6:47 am

    How much fresh oregano would I use for this? I have this prolific oregano plant that I need to start using. Love this recipe!!!!

    • Hilah on July 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Jessica! Probably just about a teaspoon minced.
      If you want to use up more of your oregano it also makes a really good chicken marinade. I don’t have a recipe written down, but you can mix up about 1/4 cup or fresh chopped oregano, 1-2 lemons juiced, lots of garlic, salt and pepper, little olive oil and use that on a couple pounds of chicken. Then bake the chicken as you would normally. It’s good!

  4. Michael on July 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I use a similar recipe, so I know yours is excellent!! I have never tried it in a Crock Pot though, only in a Dutch oven. Yours looks sooo much easier! Next time…

    BTW, try it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You’ll be amazed! Every bit as good!

    • Hilah on July 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Sounds good, Michael! Thanks for that idea.

  5. Ryan on July 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Delicious! Turned out perfect!

    • Hilah on July 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks for the feedback, Ryan!

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