Happy Barbacoa Birthday

This week KrausnicKitchen.com turns 1!

As I look back, I’m so thankful for this blogging experience. It has been a useful tool in my own meal planning. Obviously, I’m not tracking everything that I cook, as that would be a long, mundane list of flops and mishaps. I’m simply posting the dishes that are deliciously “blog worthy.” At this time, I’d like to thank my readership–all three of you! 🙂

On to the Barbacoa Birthday!

I love Chipotle Mexican Grill, specifically the barbacoa beef. Recently, I stumbled upon this recipe on TheKitchn.com. It is fantastic. This big-batch meal is magnificently spicy and smoky. Did I mention that it’s a Slow Cooker meal? The beef is set atop a bed of pureed cilantro, chipotles, onion and garlic, all spiked with lime juice and cloves. It’s then cooked on High for 4 hours and then on Warm for 8 more hours. The result is a tender shredded meat with flavors which shine, even through a multitude of toppings.

This would be a GREAT party food (Memorial Day, anyone?). It’s enough meat to fill 30 tacos! The meat could also be served several other ways: burritos, nachos, over rice or in an omelette. I even served in as a sandwich using leftover flatbread.

It also freezes well. TheKitchn.com explains, “Use a muffin tin to freeze individual portions. Pour the sauce over the top to help the meat freeze in one solid chunk. When frozen solid, pop out the individual muffin cup portions and toss them in a freezer bag or container for more long-term storage.”

I’ve included a few toppings recipes below, including Pico de Gallo, Corn Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice, to complete your Chipotle-inspired meal at home.

Regarding cook time, TheKitchn says: “I like to make mine before bed and then let it sit on WARM overnight. This allows the meat to cook fully and then come to a point where it can be shredded easily and will essentially fall apart when pulled with a fork. If you don’t have overnight to accomplish this, another hour of cooking on HIGH will get the job done. The meat will not be as tender, but will still be tasty.”

Important update: Due to various cooking temperatures of slow cookers on the WARM setting, the result has been varied, with some ending up with tough meat and some with tender meat. TheKitchn.com says, “The solution for this recipe is to simply switch the cooking method to 8 to 10 hours on LOW. This setting will hold the meat within its ideal cooking temperature range without any trouble (and this is true for all models!), giving you perfect, fall-apart-tender shreds of beef every time. The recipe below has been updated to reflect this revised cooking method.” The recipe below now reflects this change. 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
Makes enough meat to stuff 30 tacos
Modified from TheKitchn.com


4 chipotle peppers (from a can) plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 to 7 pounds beef brisket
5 dry bay leaves
4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock


Use an immersion blender or food processor, process the chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar, process until only a few chunks remain. Place the brisket on top of this mixture. Cut brisket into two pieces so it fits better in the slow cooker. Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.

Cook on 8-10 hours on LOW.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat, if desired. Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

To keep it warm for guests you can return it to your slow cooker after you have removed the remaining liquid.

Serve with fresh tortillas, onion, cilantro, and salsa.

Pico de Gallo

from Restaurantrecipesbook.com
4 tomatoes – diced
½ cup red onion – diced
¼ cup cilantro – diced
2 Tbsp jalapenos – diced
2 Tbs lime juice – or just squeeze some lime over until it’s flavored right.
¼ tsp salt

Combine ingredients together.

Cilantro Lime Rice like Chipotle

modified from  Restaurantrecipesbook.com
2 cups cooked white rice
3 Tbsp butter
1 ½ tsp salt
1/3 cup cilantro – chipped
2 Tbsp lime juice

Add butter, salt, cilantro and lime juice to cooked rice. Stir to coat. Cover and let sit until you’re ready to make your burritos.

Chipotle Corn Salsa Like Chipotle

modified from CDKitchen

2 cups fresh corn (or frozen)
2 tomatoes
1 small red onion, diced
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 jalapeno chiles, minced (save some of the seeds)
2 teaspoons pureed canned chipotle chiles
2 limes, juice of
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt, to taste

Cut the tomatoes into the same size dice as the onions and bell peppers. Combine the corn with the diced and minced vegetables; sprinkle in the reserved jalapeno seeds to desired heat. Stir in the chipotle puree, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and salt.

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    © Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen 2011-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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