This is not a traditional recipe for Barbacoa. Neither are most of the recipes out there that cook the meat in a slow cooker or braise it in the oven. But it seems to be popular right now, and after I tried it, I realized it is for good reason! Pressure Cooker Barbacoa is just as good.
In traditional cooking the meat is usually slowly cooked over an open fire or cooked on coals in a hole dug in the ground. The meat is traditionally pork or lamb. Over the time this dish has morphed into a lot of different things, it has come to be known as meat steamed until tender. (you can read up more on this if you’d like)
What is traditional are the spices. And how we are serving it: with corn tortillas, onions, a squeeze of lime, and avocado.
I use chipotle powder, it has a smokey barbecue flavor, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar which is traditional in southern barbecue. I add turmeric, because I like turmeric in my Mexican dishes. Then the traditional cumin, cilantro, bay leaves are also added.
The smokey, spicy chipotle flavor with a mix of spices a squeeze of lime on a warm corn tortilla with creamy guacamole, is killer. You will not be disappointed. And if you love tacos, this is taco heaven.
So I decided to use the pressure cooker. The meat needs time to break down and the pressure cooker does that faster than a slow cooker or the oven. But it still takes about 70 minutes of cooking to break down the meat. Cook it on the weekend for the week. Like most things with deep flavor it is better the next day. The beef keeps well if you want to make it ahead.
You can make burritos or rice bowls if you do not want the taco version. I make rice bowls for lunch with the leftovers.