Chipotle Barbacoa

Slow Cooker Chipotle Barbacoa - juicy meat barbecue in slow cooker with sweet and spicy marinade of smokey chipotle chilies!!

Chipotle Barbacoa, a classic pull-apart tender meat barbacoa slow cooked with smokey chipotle chilies, and flavorful mix of sweet and spicy marinade! Loaded with ton of flavor, this meat main course is must try once in lifetime! 

You know what? Today, I have made this traditional Mexican Barbacoa recipe everyday kitchen approved!

Simply dust your slow cooker, get delicious Mexican babracoa ingredients, and your favorite shoulder roast meat (I used lamb).. and this comforting main course will be the best homemade BBQ ever! Pull apart tender, juicy, sweet, spicy with smokey kick of chipotle. All of this without a messy fire-pit, fancy BBQs, or agave leaves!

Oh, and don't worry if you don't want to use slow cooker. I'm also including Oven method of cooking!

So, let's make Chipotle Barbacoa!

Do you know word BBQ is derived from Latin word "Barbacoa"? Barbacoa is the traditional way of slow cooking meat until it is pull apart tender, and has a layer of smoky flavor. Often sugar and heat of chilies are two main ingredients in any kind of bar...

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4-6 Servings Serves: 6
Notes: No. of servings depends on serving size.


    Chipotle Barbacoa

  • 2 Chipotle in Adobo (individual chilies with a heaping tbsp of adobo liquid)
  • 2.5 - 3 lbs Lamb (boneless, I used lamb shoulder roast)
  • Beer (dark lager)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Garlic (cloves)
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Ancho Chili (plus 1 guajillo chili)
  • 1/2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/3 of Cinnamon (stick or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • 1 tsp Oregano (dried, prefer Mexican Oregano)
  • For serving

  • Red Onion
  • Salsa (fresh pico de gayo)
  • Cilantro
  • Lime (cut into wedges)


  • 1. Season lamb with salt. Heat 2 oil in a saute pan. Sear the lamb until it brown and crusty from all sides. (about 2-3 minutes each side, 10-12 minutes total)
  • 2. Make the chipotle chili marinade by combining vinegar, chilies, adobo sauce, sugar, agave, garlic, and salt in a food processor.
    Additional Notes:
    Make sure to remove seeds and stem of dried chilies.
  • 3. Add lamb to slow cooker with chili paste, cumin powder, cinnamon, bay leaf, beer and 1/2 cup water.
  • 4. Cook on high for 5-6 hours until lamb is tender and falling apart.
  • 5. Transfer to lamb to a plate and shred the meat with clean hands. In meantime, pour liquid in a sauce pan and cook on high heat until gravy thickens to your liking. Mix it back in shredded lamb.
  • 6. Serve with garnish of red onion, fresh salsa, lime wedges. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Adapted from Rick Bayless
See Full Recipe

2 comment(s)

Your chipotle barbacoa recipe looks amazing. I can't wait to try making it and it looks like it doesn't take long! If I calculated my 'time management statistics'. I would find the majority of my time is spent overthinking how I should cook my dinner. Can't wait to try this out!
Post Comment  See All Comments