Let's Get Cookin'

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Total Time: 90 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free


  • 2 ½ – 3 lb. chuck roast, well-trimmed
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt (or 1 tsp. fine sea salt)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¾ cup of water
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking fat of choice

Serving suggestion: Serve in a bowl with rice, greens, cilantro, lime wedges, shredded or cotija cheese, corn, pico, black beans, jalapeño slices, mashed or thinly sliced avocado, finely minced red onions or pickled onions


  1. Place roast on a large plate and pat dry with paper towels. Rub salt over the surface of the meat.
  2. Select ‘Saute’ on Instant Pot. When the inner pot is hot, add fat. When the fat starts to shimmer, add roast and sear 2-3 minutes on each side until the roast is browned on all sides. Press ‘Cancel’ on Instant Pot.
  3. While the roast is browning, add onion, garlic, tomato paste, water, lime juice, cumin, oregano, and cloves to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour onion-tomato mixture over the roast in the Instant Pot, lifting the roast with a set of tongs to allow the liquid to get underneath the roast.
  5. Place bay leaves on top of roast, lock lid into place, flip vent valve to the ‘sealing’ position, and cook at high pressure for 75 minutes (adding 10% for high altitude).
  6. When cooking time is up, allow for 20 minutes of natural pressure release before releasing any residual steam and removing the lid.
  7. Carefully remove roast to a clean plate and shred with 2 forks, adding some the cooking liquid back to the meat as desired. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.


  • Serving Size: 4 ounces
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 436mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 28g