barbacoa tacos close up

Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos

The Instant Pot has won my heart and stomach. After a successful round of carnitas tacos a few weeks ago, I thought I should give it a try with barbacoa tacos. I had to find something less than the 8.5 pound pork butt I used with carnitas because, well, that was just a ridiculous amount of meat! I bought two-2.5 pound grass fed rump roasts and threw them both in the Instant Pot where they bathed in a beautiful bath of adobo-inspired spices.

barbacoa tacos spcies

I have sampled many of the authentic Mexican restaurants and taquerias in Springdale and come away with a good notion of what I want in a taco. If you do these with beef, make sure you have a good amount of fat on the roast or add some fat so that the meat will be tender. You can top them with the traditional diced onion and cilantro mix or go with your favorite barbeque sauce. Ginny had a brilliant idea for sauce…butternut squash barbeque sauce. It may sound odd, but the right amount of brown sugar along with the leftover liquid from the meat was a treat to behold.

barbacoa tacos with butternut squash sauce

When you have finished your first round of these tacos and sauce and have leftovers, place the beef on a baking sheet and cover it with a generous amount of sauce. Broil it in the oven for about ten minutes and the sauce will caramelize for a delicious leftover taco treat!

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES                 COOK TIME: 70 MINUTES                SERVINGS: 12


  • 4-5 pounds rump roast
  • 3 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 2 sticks cinnamon (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 20 black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground pepper)
  • 3 guajillo chiles (or other dark dried chile)
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • butter
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

For the butternut squash sauce (optional):

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into bite size chunks
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt


  1. Place roast in the Instant Pot. Place remaining ingredients, except butter, onion and cilantro, into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour sauce over the roast and cook for 70 minutes on pressure (or slow cook in crock pot for 4-6 hours).
  2. When beef is almost ready, melt butter in a pan over medium heat and cook onions for about 25 minutes until golden brown and reduced.
  3. If you want to add butternut squash sauce, cook the squash in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place in blender. Add remaining liquid in Instant Pot along with cinnamon, chili flakes, brown sugar and sea salt. Blend until smooth. Serve tacos with caramelized onion, sauce and chopped cilantro.



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