Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Pickled Onions and Pineapple Pico.
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you the overtime my slow cooker has been working lately.
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.
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.
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.
Stuffed inside charred tortillas. That I char on my super fancy gas stovetop, like a freak. And occasionally almost burn the house down.
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?
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!
We can eat tacos every day. Because I said so.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Pickled Onions and Pineapple Pico
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed canola or vegetable oil
- 1 4 pound beef chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- ½ red onion diced
- 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- corn or flour tortillas
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup fresh pineapple cubes diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
- 1/2 sweet onion diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir. Let sit for 30 minutes or so for the flavor to develop.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
But why do I always JUST miss taco Tuesday?!
68 Comments on “Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Pickled Onions and Pineapple Pico.”
This looks so amazing! I’ve been wanting to try barbacoa at home forever and now it’s at the very top of my list. (And BTW, not even sure you should change it because it’s the cutest typo ever, but the recipe calls for chipotle peppers in adorable sauce!!).
omg bahahaha thank you becky!!
That is the cutest typo! Jessica these look delicious =)
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How is it possible that every taco recipe you make looks even better than the last?! I’m sure they’re all equally delicious, though I’m especially smitten with any tacos that include pineapple. ?
Question: do you prefer corn or four charred tortillas? I’ve never used corn tortillas for something like thi s- I usually get flour. This screams Super Bowl Sunday!!
Right? I’m totally putting this on my Super Bowl menu! Can. Not. Wait.
These look amazing! I had barbacoa for the first time at a restaurant the other day and loved it. I totally need to make these. :-)
This looks amazing! I also think I could just eat that pico out of the bowl with a spoon and forget about putting it on top of anything.
Is the meat spicy?
doing this tomorrow!!!! just the beef though!
I’ve been buying 3 pineapples a week for a month, and I’ve become obsessed with pickled onions per a salad at Panera. This is right up my food alley.
Damn I’m craving tacos now x
Jessica — NinetyCo
slow cooked barbacoa with fresh pineapple and tangy picked onions sounds like such a good combo!! and the color on those tortillas ?
I need to figure out how I can eat these tacos with a margarita in each hand.
These have got to be the prettiest tacos ever! I am still trying to learn the ropes of the slow-cooker game but I love barbacoa, so I’m totally trying this!
omg that is the same slow cooker i have!! i am obsessed, it’s the BEST! I also have a slight infatuation with barbacoa, so i am totally making this like, today. thanks for sharing as always!!!
These look amazing. I think it is time that you look at getting the Instant Pot. I’ve converted several of your recipes and they work amazingly well in shorter cooking time and taste just as delicious made in the “Pot”. I’m going to do this barbacoa and pressure cook it for an hour and hopefully have the same results!!!
Yum! This looks so amazing!
These tacos look amazing! I love them!
I loooove barbacoa but I’ve never actually made it either! This is totally happening!!
Looks delicious! I made tacos tonight with leftover pot roast. Your pineapple pico looks amazing. That may have to be added to my menu tomorrow night. We have A LOT of pot roast left and I just happen to have a pineapple ripening on the counter.
Love everything about this! And curious, does the smell of the food cooking overnight makes you hungry if you wake up to go to the bathroom or something?
my fav breakfast. This is slightly different from my recipe but i guess it tastes good too. Thanks for sharing this
I look forward to trying your recipe!! I have never had barbacoa before – does it end up being quite spice with the 2 whole chipotle peppers ( I’m assuming you threw seeds and all into the food processor)? I’m hoping to make it for my family in the next day or 2 but my kids can’t do too much spice yet. Would love your input on the spice level. Thanks!!!
I’m pretty sure I have a zillion slow cooked pork recipes pinned, but I save every single one I come across. IT IS SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing this one!
hey girl- these look oh so yummy! Count me in! I love tacos!
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Perfect post for Super Bowl – making it – wasn’t sure if i was doing a chili or tacos – making my grocery list now – Thanks
Making this for the game tomorrow ! But is the recipe for the pineapple pico correct that it should also have tomatoes? It doesn’t look like there are any in your pics.
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Just finished our Super Bowl dinner! We love the picked onions and pineapple pico! I could just eat these on their own. Definitely a ‘repeat recipe’! Now, Go Steelers…oh wait, they are not in this year :(
This was an epic fail at my house. No flavor and very tough beef. Not sure what I did wrong but we had to order a pizza
so sorry this didn’t work for you kristin!! did you change anything from the recipe? only asking because after 8-10 hours in the slow cooker, the beef should definitely fall apart and not be tough!
These look sooooo good! I had a bad experience with adobo sauce in the past but I am willing to try it again for these! Also, add pineapple to anything and I’m in!
I made this yesterday. I fully intended on snapping a photo and posting on Instagram but by the time we got home from a wrestling meet we were all so hungry, I completely forgot. My family has a broad range of likes/dislikes and this was a hit with EVERYBODY. A hit to the point that it has been slated — at their insistence — for a rare repeat appearance next month (I’ll get the dang photo!). I did add a little extra adobo for cooking but served the meat separately from the sauce so that the spice lovers could drizzle at will. (While I was getting the meat shredded and everything on the table, I turned the sear option on to reduce the sauce a little). I also served some citrus cream alongside. It was smokey and dark like a cuddle and the radishes, salsa and pickled onions provided the spark.
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Thanks for the recipe. Would adding a cheese to this taco enhance or diminish the final product?
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How did you get the beef to cook so PERFECTLY in that slow cooker??
Very Good :)
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I made this last night, improvising for the Instant Pot (and being a little lazy). I did not blend the ingredients into sauce, but it still worked wonderfully. I just added a cup of water to the IP and set it for 65 minutes on high pressure. Delicious, tender, with a mild heat but not overwhelming. I strained the leftover braising liquid, skimmed the fat, and will use the broth in tortilla soup!
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Can I cook on high for 4 hours instead?
most likely, yes! might need a little more time depending on your cut of beef, so just keep your eye on it!
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I’m wondering if your pickled onion recipe would work for pickling red cabbage!???
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