March 15, 2012

"Chipotle" Barbacoa Beef

A coworker emailed me a recipe that sounded so easy to prepare and promised to yield Chipotle style results: beef barbacoa. It's my favorite filling at Chipotle, and again, sounded dead simple to prepare. Not entirely trusting the source (Boston Globe), I checked it against an Epicurious recipe and found it to be similar. 

So I combined the two and filled the crockpot. The results were spicy and great, but no where near the same as the fast food restaurants' version. My Mexican friend says this is not anything like the beef barbacoa her family eats for brunch on the weekends either. But with a few tweaks (namely a thicker sauce), I could see this being really great.

Can you recommend better Mexi meat fillings? I was pleased with this (spicy!) Slow Cooked Salsa Verde Pork recipe, but was looking for some Mexi beef barbecue-style meat.

Beef Barbacoa
Adapted from Boston Globe and Epicurious

3 pounds boneless beef shoulder (chuck)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of chilies in Adobo sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp dried ground cumin
1 tsp dried ground oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
juice of one lime
½ cup cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients except the cider vinegar in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6-10 hours. Check throughout to make sure meat is covered in liquid- add more chicken stock if it's not (mine always was).

Taste and adjust seasonings; add cider vinegar. Serve with corn tortillas, pickled red onions, cilantro, a dry crumbly cheese or grated Jack, and lime wedges for squeezing.

Serves 6-8.