I’m almost embarrassed to tell you the overtime my slow cooker has been working lately.

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

Since I’m knee deep in book photos, we have a ridiculous amount of food in our house at the moment. I’ve been trying every shoot day to make sure that I’m making SOMETHING that we can eat for dinner that night, because after prepping ten+ recipes everyday, cooking something new is just not in the cards. I also figured that, hey! While my slow cooker is out, I might as well make any and alllll slow cooker recipes that are headed for the new book.

And I keep finding insane ones I love in the process.

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com


My slow cooker?

Five straight days. Five! Different meals of course. It’s not like it ran nonstop for five days. More like I cooked a recipe overnight for about 10 hours and photographed it in the morning, started a new one in the early afternoon, threw it in the fridge and started another one that night. P.S. This slow cooker has still saved my life in the process.

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

And this was one of my favorite recipes!

I love a delicious, tender, fall-apart barbacoa beef. I love it on salads, in rice bowls, in burritos, in enchiladas and especially in tacos.

Especially when those tacos are covered in pickled onions.

And pineapple pico!

And thinly sliced radish.

And cheeeeese.

Stuffed inside charred tortillas. That I char on my super fancy gas stovetop, like a freak. And occasionally almost burn the house down.

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

But guess what? This beef has so much flavor and I was so hungry as I was prepping it for dinner that I actually just ate the beef in a tortilla. Plain. Totally cheeseless. Salsaless. Cilantroless!

Apparently I was starvvvving.

Apparently I’ve lost my mind.

It is still super good, even without all the toppings. However… what is life without toppings?

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

The barbacoa beef is ridiculously flavorful in itself, like I mentioned. I went off this base recipe from serious eats because I trust them the most and having zero experience in making barbacoa (but lots of experience eating it), I wanted it to be perfect. Simple and loaded with flavor.

But it only gets better with a quick pineapple pico. It’s nothing new here and I love the flavor of it with beef. And the pickled onions?

Gosh. I never expected to like them so much. Even if I only like them because they are pink. But Eddie is obsessed with them and eats them right out of the jar. The whole combination is to die for!

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

We can eat tacos every day. Because I said so.

slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos I howsweeteats.com

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Pickled Onions and Pineapple Pico

5 from 46 votes
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pickled onions

pineapple pico


  • Place the garlic, peppers, onions, adobo sauce, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano and cloves in the bowl of your food processor and blend until combined.
  • Season the beef with the salt and pepper. If you have a slow cooker that you can sear in, heat it to the highest setting. If not, heat a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil (to either, whatever you’re using) and once it’s hot, add the beef and sear until deeply golden on every side, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Place the sauce mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker (and if the beef was seared in there, just lift up the beef and pour it underneath) with the beef over top. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beef falls apart.

pickled onions

  • Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Whisk in the vinegar. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can obviously make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.

pineapple pico

  • Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir. Let sit for 30 minutes or so for the flavor to develop.

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But why do I always JUST miss taco Tuesday?!