beef barbacoa instapot tacos recipe

I have traveled all over the Caribbean and if there is one thing I love no matter where I am, it is Barbacoa. The word barbecue comes from Barbacoa and in the traditional usage, it is slow-cooked meat. This can be a piece or a whole sheep or hog cooked over an open fire or in a pit. Today, you will also find it steamed until it’s so tender it falls apart. This makes it perfect for the instapot. And if there is one thing you can count on no matter where you have Barbacoa, it is the onions and cilantro served with it.

With my new life at Sugar Water Manor, I am currently using my slow cooker and instapot a lot. Until I redo my kitchen, my propane stove is not cutting it (it has no vent) and I still need to find a key and learn how to cook on my wood cooktop and oven.

This Beef Barbacoa Tacos Recipe was a favorite for dinner and gave us a few lunches as well. We had dinner for two one night and 4 additional lunch portions. Of course, you can switch up this recipe using chicken or pork.

what do you top beef barbacoa tacos with


  • 2 1/2 pound boneless chuck roast cut into four pieces
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground adobo
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf


In a medium ball jar, put the apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and all OF the spices. Shake it up really well.  If you prefer, you can whisk.

beef barbacoa tacos sauce IMG_3744


  • Place 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil in your instapot and brown the beef on sauté setting about six minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth. If you use Better Than Boullion or another bouillon, add water first then the bouillon and stir.
  • Turn off the instapot and sauté.
  • Shake the sauce again, so it is well-mixed. Add to pot.
  • Place the lid on your instapot and set on high for 30 minutes. Be sure to follow the directions for your instapot – mine is below.

beef barbacoa instapot tacos recipe

  • Be sure to release pressure naturally.
  • Remove the beef and using 2 forks, shred the beef.
  • Place the hot beef in a serving dish and serve immediately with all your toppings and tortillas.


  • Your favorite tortillas
  • Sliced onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Other vegetables of your preference like peppers, tomatoes, and corn
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese – we use an organic mild cheddar, but you can also use cotija.
  • Limes quartered

what goes with beef barbacoa instapot tacos

What will you top your Barbacoa with?