barbacoa tacos with pineapple slaw

Barbacoa Tacos With Pineapple Slaw

One day I will embark on a journey to find the best tacos in the world. Until then, I will have to make things like barbacoa tacos with pineapple slaw myself. Barbacoa tacos are pretty easy to make and delicious. This recipe has a number of ingredients, but all you have to do is throw them in the pot and let the meat simmer for a few hours. Bonus if you have an Instant Pot, in which case, you can probably cook this recipe in just over an hour.

barbacoa tacos with dried chilies

There are a lot of different recipes for barbacoa out there, but most contain some of the same ingredients: beef, chilies, onion, garlic, lime, broth and spices. I went out on a limb and used some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I was very happy with the result. However, be careful with how many you add. These little jewels are spicy and will take the heat up a notch with each pepper you add.

barbacoa beef in Dutch oven

I made a tangy pineapple slaw to go on the beef and it was great. Other than the corn tortillas, this recipe is Paleo. You could go full Paleo and serve the meat and slaw by itself. The wonderful thing about making a big pot of barbacoa is that it stays good in the fridge for days and the flavor holds the whole time. It’s actually a pretty cheap way to have meals for several days.

barbacoa tacos with pineapple slaw

I let the barbacoa simmer in the pot for about three hours. It took this long to get that tender-pull apart with a fork-texture. For an extra crisp to the edges of the meat, you can lay the beef out on a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for a few minutes. If you do, make sure to pour some of the juice over the beef before you broil it. This keeps it moist. These barbacoa tacos with pineapple slaw are a crowd pleaser!

PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 3 hours SERVINGS: 10


  • 3 lb. chuck roast (brisket also works well) with excess fat trimmed
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 can green chilies
  • juice of one lime
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1-2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • corn tortillas

for the slaw:

  • 1/2 purple cabbage, sliced really thin
  • 1 can chopped pineapple
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook them on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Push onions aside and throw in the beef. Cook it until brown on both sides.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except the tortillas) and simmer on medium low for about 3 hours or until the beef is very tender and will pull apart easily with a fork.
  3. Drain the juice from the can of pineapples. Combine the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
  4. Heat tortillas in a pan with a bit of olive oil for about one minute per side.
  5. Serve with barbacoa and top with slaw.


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