Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef

Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef will make the most delicious tacos you have tasted – a bit of heat and so much flavor! A simple name would be shredded beef. But, this “slow cooker” version is so tender and moist. We love it on tostadas, stuffed into our keto almond flour tortillas, or piled high on a plate topped with cilantro and radish! Joanie has outdone herself this time. You will love this creation.

There are a lot of Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef recipes on the Internet. Most bank on Chipotles in Adobo Sauce as the main ingredient. They are easy to find and the smoky flavor is very unique. So, we will start this recipe by saying that adding one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce to the blender is a delicious alternative. If you love smoky shredded beef then add one, if you simply want a beefy taste with a bit of heat, try Joanie’s recipe below. We have enjoyed it both ways.


Authentic Mexican Barbarcoa is often made with beef cheek or head – not easily found! We stick with a beef chuck roast! For this recipe, Joanie did trim the roast to remove excess fat. She did not want separation of the paste like rub. The consistency and flavor of the barbacoa beef is perfect! We use two dried peppers for flavor, color, and heat – Guajillo and Ancho (Pasilla can be substituted). You will have to reconstitute the dried peppers, then stem and seed them before blending. They add so much color and flavor! Learn this simple technique – it will open up a new culinary world!

Mexican Barbacoa Beef

Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef is similar to adding a barbecue sauce that we all have tasted, but it is not so sugary sweet. Joanie did use Sukrin Gold as her sugar-free brown sugar substitute and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar for tang. Oregano, Cumin, and a splash of lime juice on the finished beef adds even more Mexican flavor. Garlic is also a key ingredient. Add more if you want a stronger garlic flavor. Finally, Joanie stresses that you should use the water from rehydrating the peppers. It is full of flavor!

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Preparation Tips

We have mentioned rehydrating the dried peppers. It is an easy task and worth the effort. We use a flat cast iron skillet to heat them for 3 minutes on each side. This will begin to release the oils that have been captured in the drying process. It is an essential step. It will then take about 15 minutes to then reconstitute the peppers in simmering hot water. You will be able to see when they are soft and pliable. Next cut off the stem, cut the peppers open, and remove the seeds. Use that flavorful water!

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Another tip is to remove some of the excess fat on the chuck roast and to pat a lot of sea salt and black pepper on the meat before searing. It will sear faster, produce a crunchy crust that will remain when the beef is shredded, and taste great! Use a nice deep Dutch Oven or deep stainless pan to sear the beef, as it will splatter. Finally, make sure you add that fresh lime juice to the beef after shredding. Barbacoa Beef requires a citrus tang!

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Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef – Delicious Shredded Beef for Tacos

Keto Mexican Beef Barbacoa Beef is delicious when used as taco meat, on top of a crusty tostada, or simply topped with cilantro, red onion, tomatoes, and radish, or red cabbage! Don’t forget the chipotle if you want a smokier flavor and enjoy Joanie’s Tasty Low Carb flavor explosion!

Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef

Recipe by Joanie and Chris
4.9 from 13 votes
Course: Meat, Snack MealsCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


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Keto Mexican Barbacoa Beef is an authentic recipe, and is excellent as taco meat in a tortilla, or on our Keto Yeast Hamburger Bun. Delicious Mexican shredded beef made in the slow cooker! Only 4g of carbs!

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  • Bring a skillet or comal to medium heat and then toast the dried Guajillo and dried Ancho peppers for 3 minutes, flipping once. Remove the skillet from the burner and reserve the peppers.
  • Increase the burner heat to medium-high and add the peppers and garlic to a medium sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until the peppers have rehydrated.
  • While the peppers rehydrate, cut the beef roast into four or five chunks and trim off most of the fat. Then rub the beef heavily with salt and pepper, all over. Heat a Dutch oven over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oilive oil and sear the chuck roast pieces on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from the Dutch oven and reserve.
  • In a blender (Vitamix) add the rehydrated peppers and garlic, cumin, Sukrin Gold, vinegar, oregano, and 1/2 cup of rehydrated water from saucepan. Blend until smooth. Add more water, as needed.
  • Place the seared chuck roast pieces in a slow cooker. Pour sauce from the blender over the meat and turn on high for 6 hours. If you prefer, you can use low setting for 8 hours.
  • When done, shred with two forks, drizzle lime juice on plated meat, and serve in Keto Almond Flour Tortillas, or on a plate with chopped red onion, cilantro, radish, diced tomatoes, or red cabbage.


Chef’s Notes

  • You can also skip the slow cooker and roast the beef in a 275 degree oven for 5 hours.
  • For a smoky flavor add one chipotle in adobo sauce to the blender.
  • Try our Barbacoa with our Keto Almond Flour Tortillas. Our Keto Almond Flour Tortillas are not nut free. You can substitute Low-carb Mission Tortillas (only 4g carbs).

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 524.6kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 9.3g
  • Protein: 46g
  • Fat: 32.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.3g
  • Cholesterol: 156.5mg
  • Sodium: 204.1mg
  • Potassium: 1162.9mg
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Sugar: 8.1g
  • Vitamin A: 3456IU
  • Vitamin C: 5mg
  • Calcium: 76.4mg
  • Iron: 7mg
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