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Slow Cooker Mexican Barbacoa

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In Mexico there is a saying that goes “el amor entra por el estomago” which is equivalent to the English saying, “the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Both of which refer to the fact that knowing how to cook is a good way to get a man to fall in love with you – and I have to say that it worked for me! I’m not saying that I am the greatest cook in the world, but knowing how to make the recipes that my mama and my abuela taught me has helped a lot ;)

I remember making barbacoa (Mexican Barbecue) one of the times that my husband visited me in Mexico while we were still dating. He absolutely fell in love (although I am not sure if at that point he fell in love with me or only the barbacoa. :)) The fact is that he ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner even if there was other food available! He added it to all of his meals, which made me think that he really must love barbacoa, right? Well, today I made it again, and my husband’s words were “I just fell in love all over again,” and I think that this time he was talking about me :)

Well, before I keep going on and on, I am going to share the recipe for my mama’s famous barbacoa, I say famous, because people have hired her to make it for banquets and other events! So, let’s get to work :)




Slow Cooker Mexican Barbecue


  1. 1 pound of Beef (I use brisket)
  2. 7 Chilies Guajillos de-seeded and boiled
  3. 1/2 onion
  4. 4 garlic cloves
  5. 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  6. 1 tomato
  7. 1 tablespoon of cumin
  8. 1 tablespoon of oregano
  9. 1 tablespoon of pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
  11. 1 tablespoon of thyme
  12. 5 bay leaves
  13. 3 avocado leaves (optional)
  14. Salt


  1. Blend the vinegar, 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tablespoon of pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of thyme, and salt in a blender.
  2. Cover the beef with the above mixture and marinate for at least 2 hours (the secret to a good Barbacoa es the marinade). You can improve this process my poking holes in the meat with a fork before marinating.
  3. Next, blend the rest of the ingredients and strain.
  4. Add the meat with the marinade and the new strained sauce to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours (or in a large pot on your stove on high for an hour)
  5. Make sure to check it periodically to make sure it is not drying out, and if it is, add a little bit of water.
  6. Once the beef is fork tender, shred it and return it to the crock pot with all of the liquid that it was cooked with.
  7. Serve with Spaghetti with Creamy Poblano Sauce and enjoy an authentic Mexican meal.
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  1. could you leave it in the marinade overnight and then put it in the slow cooker in the morning?
    Audrey recently posted…Bundt Pan ChickenMy Profile

  2. This sounds just plain delicious!

  3. Oh my! My hubby would be thrilled if I made this for him. Yum!
    Stephanie @ Back For Seconds recently posted…Snickers BrowniesMy Profile


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