The Instant Pot Barbacoa recipe delivers on all fronts: fork-tender beef in a warm and savory red chile sauce. The succulent barbacoa is perfect alone with some rice and beans or to fill a flour tortilla for a burrito or use as a beef filling for tacos.
MEMORIES OF BARBACOA AT HOME
I grew up eating Barbacoa made in a slow cooker here in the U.S. Unfortunately, my mom had no time to dig a hole in the ground and cook the barbacoa the traditional way still done today in Mexico. On larger, special occasions – weddings, big football games, anniversaries, etc., my mom would bring out the large dutch oven to make the shredded beef.
It was the leftovers that I remember best. She’d use the beef barbacoa to make special quesadillas where she’d fill a large flour tortilla with Monterey Jack Cheese and the shredded beef and place in the toaster oven to get a little crispy. Or, she’d mix it with scrambled eggs, onions, and green peppers in the morning for Machaca.
HISTORY OF BARBACOA PREPARATION FROM MEXICO
Traditionally, Barbacoa is prepared with sheep, goat, or beef and cooked underground. A brick-lined oven is dug into the earth. Wood is placed at the bottom and burned until the whole oven is red hot.