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Simple Keto Barbacoa

Louise Hendon | April 23
Simple Keto Barbacoa

There is no need to get takeout from your favorite Mexican fast-casual restaurant when you can make this Simple Keto Barbacoa recipe instead. 

Using just a few easy-to-find ingredients, this Mexican-inspired shredded beef recipe takes just minutes to prep and is ready in about an hour.

My favorite way to enjoy barbacoa is piled high on top of Keto Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice with sliced avocado or Basic Keto Guacamole on the side.

And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still enjoy my barbacoa recipe. Just place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours and low for 8 to 10 hours.

Instant Pot Cooking Tips

If you are still an Instant Pot novice or are thinking about buying one, let me quickly explain them to you.

Instant Pots are basically an electric pressure cooker. Maybe your parents or grandparents had a stovetop pressure cooker that whistled (much like a tea kettle) when it reached pressure? Instant Pots are basically the same as stove-top pressure cookers but better!

Even though Instant Pots are primarily known for their pressure cooker function, they are also called multi-cookers since they have other cooking functions, which include steaming, sauteing, yogurt making, and some can even be used as slow cookers.

Whether you are brand new to using an Instant Pot or have had one for years, here are a few general tips to help ensure that all of your meals are cooked to perfection.

  • Read your Instant Pot’s instructions manual. Yes, this might seem a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s really important to read the instructions manual for your specific Instant Pot. Each brand and even model is different, and you need to know how to use yours correctly.
  • Use at least a ½ cup (60 ml) of liquid when pressure cooking. The liquid helps the Instant Pot come to pressure to cook the food. You can even use stock or bone broth to give your recipes even more flavor.
  • Add about 10 to 15 minutes to your meal planning time. While the Instant Pot typically cooks in minutes, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes for it to come to pressure before the cooking time even begins. So, your 15-minute recipe will likely take closer to 30 minutes to cook.
  • You can cook with frozen meat and vegetables without having to thaw first. Just add about 5 extra minutes to the cooking time per pound ( or 2 kg) of frozen meat you are using. 
  • Use the saute function to add extra flavor to your meals. Browning onions and meat before cooking will give your meal a richness that it wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Be very careful when opening the lid. Even after the pressure is released (naturally or quickly), there will still be quite a bit of steam in the pot. Be sure to never have your face directly over the pot when opening it.
  • Buy several extra silicone sealing rings. Even with washing after each use, the silicone rings tend to hold onto order, which isn’t really appetizing when cooking. In addition, they tend to stretch over time and will cause your Instant Pot not to seal properly.
  • You might want to even buy an extra stainless steel inner pot as well. If you are cooking multiple recipes with your Instant Pot, you can go from one recipe to the next without having to wash the inner pot in-between.

Other Mexican-Inspired Keto Recipes

Can’t get enough at-home Mexican-inspired recipes? Here are a few other of my favorites to tempt your tastebuds.

And if you want more beef recipes, you can find all of my Keto beef recipes here

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Simple Keto Barbacoa - Square

Simple Keto Barbacoa


  • Author: Louise Hendon
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) beef chuck roast, cut into large chunks
  • 1 (4 oz or 113 g) can of chopped green chilies (mild or hot)
  • 1/2 medium onion (1 oz or 55 g), peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) beef broth or bone broth
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon (12 g) cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (3 g) dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • To serve: Large lettuce leaves, salsa, guacamole (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours and low for 8 to 10 hours until the beef is very tender.
  2. Remove bay leaves from the slow cooker and discard. Use 2 forks to shred the beef in the slow cooker and let rest for about 15 minutes to absorb the cooking liquids. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Serve the barbacoa by itself or in lettuce wraps and topped with salsa or guacamole.

Notes

All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.

Net Carbs per serving: 1 g

Nutrition

  • Calories: 452
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 29 g
Louise Hendon

Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK). She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.