beef barbacoa sliders


Beef Barbacoa Sliders

Beef Barbacoa Sliders

Hamburguesitas de Barbacoa

Recipe Yield

24 sliders

Cooking time

3 hours 30 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.63 from 8 votes


  • 10 guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 10 ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium Roma tomato quartered
  • 1/2 medium white onion coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 whole cloves stems removed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons safflower or vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds beef round roast or brisket cut into 4-inch chunks
  • 1 pound Banana leaves or aluminum foil
  • 12 ounces light beer 1 bottle
  • 24 small slider buns brioche or challah buns are specially good with this!
  • Pickled jalapeños optional

To Prepare

For the marinade:

  • Heat a large skillet or comal over medium heat. Add the dried guajillo and ancho chiles and toast them for no more than 20 seconds per side, taking care not to burn them. Transfer the toasted chiles to a medium saucepan and add the water, place over medium heat and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chiles have softened and rehydrated.
  • Transfer the chiles to a blender, and add 2 cups of their cooking liquid (discard the remaining liquid), the vinegar, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, cloves and salt. Puree until smooth.
  • Wipe out the medium saucepan and add the oil. Place over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the pureed chile mixture, being careful to avoid any splatters. Partially cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the color darkens and the mixture thickens to a paste-like consistency.

For the meat:

  • Place the beef in a large bowl and cover it with the marinade. If you will not cook it that day, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Wrap the individual meat chunks in pieces of banana leaf or aluminum foil as you would wrap burritos or tamales - making sure to add a generous amount of marinade in each packet.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the meat packets inside a large, heavy ovenproof French oven or casserole, pour in the beer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Roast for about 3 hours, until the meat is succulent and comes apart when pulled with a fork. Transfer to the stovetop (off of the heat), and let everything rest for 10 to 15 minutes before opening the meat packets.
  • Serve on slider buns with drunken salsa and/or pickled jalapeños.


123comments inBeef Barbacoa Sliders

  1. Daisy

    Mar 13

    I really want to try this recipe! Do you think searing meat is essential, as other recipes claim? Would searing prevent the marinade from penetrating into the meat? Just trying to look at the big picture,,, to sear or not to sear pros and cons. Would appreciate your thoughts!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 14

      To me the searing is essential when a recipe calls for it, for example in my Carnitas recipe (, it is what gives the caramelization to the pork and the sweetness to the final result 🙂

  2. Sue Reimbold

    Feb 23

    I’ve used this recipe numerous times as written. I make tacos with Pati’s Salsa verde cruda, crema and pickled red onions. Everyone who has it loves it and in one case, it was pronounced “the best tacos ever.” Love all your recipes and Pati’s Mexican Table. Thanks.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 29

      OMG, the best tacos ever! You just made my day Sue, thanks so very much! Un abrazo!

  3. Samantha

    Feb 01

    Thanks , I went ahead and cooked them with no oil. They are baking and we are so excited to try them. My 2nd recipe I have made from your shows. I’m already looking up another tasty meal to cook. Thank You!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 02

      So happy to hear Samantha, un abrazo!

  4. Samantha

    Feb 01

    When heating the chilies in pan do I add oil to the pan?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 01

      No oil Samantha, do it in a dry hot pan and very quickly, no more than 20 secs per side 😉

  5. Angie

    Apr 05

    hi, can you please provide the recipe for your salsa borracha. I don see ot on your website. i cant wait to make these sliders! thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      Of course Angie, you will find it if you follow this link, enjoy!

  6. Anonymous

    Jan 19

    Hi Pati, If I want to cool the marinade then marinade the meat overnight, will that enhance the flavor of the meat further. Do you recommend?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29


  7. Anonymous

    Dec 04

    Look delicious. Is this recipe available on video?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      It is! You can watch it here 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    Nov 16

    Hi Patti, how should I prepare the banana leaves for wrapping the meat?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      If they are stiff, just warm them up a bit like if they were tortillas, and you are ready 🙂

  9. Jo Ann Gilmore

    Sep 30

    Can I make this recipe with chicken?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 11

      I say yes! Enjoy it Jo Ann 🙂

  10. Tanya

    Jun 23

    Hi! Quick question, do you think I can cook this in the crockpot? On low over night maybe. I don’t have a Dutch oven. Thanks, can’t wait to try!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 23

      I think that you can absolutely try your crockpot! I wouldn’t know about timing because I do not have one, but I am sure the barbacoa will come out great!

  11. Ana

    Jun 19

    AMAZING! Can’t say enough about this recipe. Took me back to some of my mamas cooking. I made it for Fathers Day and everybody loved it, including the grand babies. Will be making this again. Thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 23

      So glad to hear Ana, hugs to all the family!

  12. magicote

    May 15

    WOW!!!! so good and the Drunken Salsa was a great edition. Had leftovers (only 2 of us) and made tacos and a fun enchilada casserole from them. All were great!!! Will be making this in the future again! YUM!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 19

      Great ideas for leftovers, bravo!

  13. mary wheeler

    Dec 27

    I’ve made this recipe 5 times already and have the leftovers frozen for fast dinners, I live alone, tonight I had Barbacoa tacos for dinner thank you for such a delicious recipe for dinner

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      I am so glad you like my barbacoa Mary, enjoy!

  14. Crystal

    Oct 04

    I was not able to find those chillies where I am in Australia, so used 2 jalapenos and a big spoon of diced Chipotles in adobo sauce…. Tasted pretty good so I can only imagine how amazing it would be with the right ingredients (I will source for next time)

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      Great subs Crystal, so glad you liked this sliders 🙂

  15. Renee S

    Sep 10

    Hello Pati, my son and I spend Sundays with my parents and my Mom and I always watch a few episodes of your delightful show. She and I take turns making your recipes and they never fail to be yummy. Would tri tip work in this recipe? Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 03

      I don’t see why not Renee, go for it ! Big hugs to you, your son and your Mom.

  16. Anonymous

    Jun 06

    OMG this recipe is delicious
    Great thank you Pat

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      Glad you liked it!

  17. Carol P.

    Apr 10

    Hi Patti! Yum! Made the barbacoa beef. I was hesitant to add the sweet spices but followed your recipe exactly and now my family thinks that I really can cook. Haha. Love you, love watching you with your sweet family & your travels. God bless you. Carol

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 11

      You CAN cook now Carol 🙂 So happy the family approved, un abrazo to all!


    Apr 03

    Hi Pati,

    I am Creole and from New Orleans. I moved to Tucson after husband Katrina and was lucky enough to meet my husband to be a few years after settling in to Arizona. His family is from Magdalena so I have learned to cook a lot of Sonoran style foods. His favorite was his mother’s traditional Sonoran style barbacoa but now this is his requested version. I am bringing it as the main meat for Easter this year and am 100% certain that once his mom tries it she will ask for the recipe!

    Thanks for being such a wonderful chef and sharing your travels and recipes with all of us.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 04

      OMG I feel honored Jonathan, so glad you and your husband love this recipe and thanks so much for sharing with the family. Fingers crossed for mom’s approval 🙂


        Apr 30

        My mother in law loved it as did all the other guests. They were truly shocked that this “gringo” could cook such authentic and delicious barbacoa. She pulled me aside after it was all over and said that next time I make it to make extra for her house! Trying your carnitas this weekend. Every recipe that I have made from your cookbooks have been a homerun!

        1. Pati Jinich

          May 11

          Yay, good job Jonathan! As long as mother in law approves 🙂

  19. Lisa Kaye Lacey

    Feb 15

    Amazing recipe

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Gracias Lisa!

  20. Jane H.

    Jan 25

    I wanted to share what I did based on this recipe. I followed the marinade recipe, but cut back to roughly 3/4 of proportions because i only had about a 2.5 lb piece of chuck roast. I used chili powders of type ancho and guajillo (7 tsp of each) and since i had no cooking liquid, just water. Then I placed the marinade in a crock pot, with the chunks of meat (cut into smaller 2 in chunks) and cooked on low for about 6 hours. I removed the very tender meat to a bowl and set it aside. Then I took most of the liquid marinade, and reduced it on the stove for about 25 minutes in a heavy sauce pan over medium high heat to get to a thicker gravy consistency. Then I poured the sauce over the meat, and served. I realize I kinda went “rogue” but I was curious about taking a crock pot approach. I think the method was very successful for getting tender meat. And the sauce was really good. It was “hands off” all afternoon while the crock pot did its thing.

    Thank you for posting these interesting recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Thanks to you Jane for sharing your crock pot version of this Barbacoa, I am sure it will be very useful here. Un abrazo!

  21. Carol Fierro

    Nov 03

    Can I use a pork loin instead of beef?
    Love your show…have made many of your delicious recipes….
    Thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      I’d say yes, go ahead Carol. However, if you want to eat pork, your best bet will be to make Carnitas! Here one of my recipes for you And thanks for the kind words 😉

      1. Chris Dycus

        Jan 08

        That carnita recipe is amazing! I use it all the time

  22. David

    Aug 25

    Hola Pati, I’m making this recipe tonight for my friends, and I’m serving it with your drunken salsa too! I love your recipes and your show😃

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 26

      Awesome David! Barbacoa and Salsa Borracha are perfect together, I hope you had fun 😉

  23. Noe

    Aug 16

    Hi Pati. My wife and I love making your dishes. Our favorite is tacos empedrador. I want to make this recipe. What size Dutch oven do you use?
    Thank you and keep sharing your kitchen.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 18

      Hola Noe! The bricklayer tacos are really yummy; I think I used a 3.5 qt dutch oven but it really does not matter, you can make them in a deep cast iron pan as well if you have one. Have fun and enjoy the tacos 😉

  24. Edgar

    Aug 05

    Hi Pati,

    What do you mean by removing the stems from cloves? Is it the little bulb at the top or is it the long piece?

    Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 05

      What you will be using is the little round bulb Edgar 😉

  25. Mary

    Jul 05

    Can this recipe be made in a crockpot

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 08

      Sure Mary, go for it!

  26. Jessica

    Jan 29

    How long would it cook in an instant pot? I’m thinking 1hour….

  27. Alfredo

    Jan 29

    Hola Pati!
    Love your show and your recipes.
    Question, do I wrap the meat in the banana leaves before or after the marinade and before cooking?

    mm mmm mmm!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 04

      Alfredo, first marinade, then wrap in banana leaves with a generous spoonful of the marinade, then cook. Let me know how it goes 😉

      1. Alfredo

        Feb 27

        It was great! Going for round two this weekend! We love your show and we have cooked a few of recipes.

        1. Pati Jinich

          Feb 27


  28. Julie

    Dec 24

    Thank you for this recipe.
    I see that the recipe on this page calls for 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt, but in the YouTube video you share and show that it takes 2 and 1/2 tablespoons. Could you share which it should be?

    Also, in the corresponding YouTube video your range was absolutely stunning. Would you share what brand it is, and if it performs in the way that you would expect?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 24

      I sometimes tweak recipes after the show, so follow what is on my website, Julie. And it’s a Viking stove. Enjoy the barbacoa!

  29. Monica

    Jan 26

    Hola querida Pati, I love you and your show soo very much! I just discovered you a few weeks ago. Gracias a Dios!!! 🙂
    I was making this recipe tonight, I seeded the chiles AND then soaked them! I completely forgot to toast them! Can I set them out to dry and use them again or am I doomed!
    I should mention that they soaked for maybe one full minute before I realized my error and quickly drained them. Will the flavour have left these delicate morsels or can I still dry, toast and reuse them again tomorrow?
    Mil gracias

    1. Pati

      Feb 06

      Oh don’t worry, Monica! Part of the fun of cooking is making mistakes and adapting…and Mexican cooking is very forgiving. If you didn’t have a chance to toast them…you can keep going with the recipe and it will still be delicious.

  30. Maria Alicia Solorio

    Jan 10

    Hola Pati. Me encanta su programa y sus resetas
    I have a question. I watched your video on Youtube and you serve the sliders with some cabbage. Is it pickled or just plain? My family loves pickled ingredients.
    I am planning on making these for my daughter’s 12 birthday party.
    Con mucho carino

    1. Pati

      Jan 11

      Oh I don’t have a recipe for that slaw specifically, but here are some creamy versions: And here are some pickled recipes too: I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday, Maria Alicia!

      1. Maria Alicia Solorio

        Jan 13

        Mil Gracias Pati!
        Prepare este paltillo y a todos les encanto. Mis suegros quedaron muy impresionados!
        Mi camisa está manchada con chile pero valió la pena!
        Gracias de nuevo por compartir sus platillos deliciosos!
        No puedo esperar para probar otra receta!

        1. Pati

          Jan 14


  31. Rita

    Feb 26

    Can I substitute a chuck roast?

    1. Pati

      Feb 27

      Sure! Any meat that likes to be braised will be great.

  32. Gabriela

    Jan 09

    Hola Pati, preparé este platillo y mi esposo que es americano quedó fascinado tanto que declinó el sábado en ir a su restaurante Tex-Mex preferido. Yo misma quede boqui abierta del delicioso sabor que explota en la boca. Yo le tengo pánico a cocinar porque pensaba que era malísima pero seguí todos los pasos y orale!!!! Hasta me sentí chef!!!😎
    Me sentí como la rata de la película Rattatuili y el libro del chef Custoe, everybody can cook!!!
    Por cierto las hojas de plátano se me quebraron. Una amiga me dijo que las calentara un poco en un comal antes de envolver la carne.

    Gracias Pati por quitarme el miedo de aventurarse a la cocina, mi esposo le encanta verte en TV y en youtube dice que tenemos el mismo acento y le encanta.


    1. Pati

      Jan 11

      jajaja fantástico! 😄

  33. Jessica

    Jan 06

    I’m so excited to try and make this! I just have two questions.. Using aluminum foil, should the meat be wrapped a little loose? If it’s completely sealed can the beer penetrate it to do its thing? Also, how would I use a crockpot instead of the oven? Low? High? How many hrs?

    I guess that was more than two, hah. Thanks for taking the time. You and your recipes are inspiring!

    1. Pati

      Jan 10

      ​You know? You can skip the wrapping. If you are using a crock pot, follow same method as when you braise a similar kind of meat!

  34. Nixya

    Dec 16

    As a full time worker, student and mom the weekdays are chaotic, so I look for hearty home made meals to make on the weekends. This one was AMAZING! The banana leaves gave it a delicious flavor. My parents enjoyed it as well. Instead of making sliders, I made it as an entree with rice, beans and homemade flour tortillas. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Pati

      Dec 21

      Thank YOU for trying it, Nixya! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it!

  35. Jenn & Dan B.

    Nov 10

    Hi Pati, we love your show! Is there a style of premade store marinade you can recommend as a substitute?

    1. Pati

      Nov 11

      Gracias! I still have not found one…

  36. David B.

    Oct 12

    Pati, Wow! This is a great recipe. We have an old family recipe (Sonora style) that we make and love. It does not compare to how good this one is. I made it along with tortillas de harina (homemade) and it was a match made in heaven. Thank you for all of your hard work!

    1. Pati

      Oct 12

      Oh wow thank you David!

  37. Terry W Coggins

    Sep 26

    Terrific recipe, fun to prepare and tastes great. One question though. Since this was traditionally cooked underground over hot coals, would the addition of a tsp or 2 of liquid smoke to the marinade/sauce help achieve smokey flavor of the traditional cooking method? By the way leftovers freeze well, too. Thank you

    1. Pati

      Sep 27

      Terry…give it a try and let me know if you like it!

      1. Terry W Coggins

        Oct 17

        I added 2 tsp of liquid smoke to the pureed and cooked pepper mixture. The meat was marinated as instructed, then cooked in banana leaves in a slow cooker. The liquid smoke did add a smokey flavor. However, more than a tsp or 2 would probably not be too good because too much liquid smoke would make the dish bitter. This is a terrific recipe that I hope one day to prepare in an underground oven just to taste the dish as it is traditionally prepared. Thank you.

  38. Asael Paniagua

    Sep 24


    You are my hero. I saw your video and I was amazed.

    I changed the recipe so the meat was left marinating over night. Then I put it in the oven with 12 oz of fresh squeezed orange juice. It was succulent.

    1. Pati

      Sep 25

      Oh thank you so much Asael!

  39. Liz

    Aug 08

    Can you make this in a crock pot?

    1. Pati

      Aug 08


  40. Vincent T.

    Jul 23

    How do you keep the Banana leaves from cracking when wrapping. Sadly, most of my banana leaves cracked and leaked some filling, but it was still excellent to eat. Thoughts?

    1. Pati

      Jul 27

      ​Oh, you should pass them through a burner flame and/or rinse with warm water. ​ ​That should help!

  41. Marion j Rojas

    Jun 08

    My children, 3 girls, LOVE these!

    1. Pati

      Jun 08


  42. Ana

    Jun 06

    Quick question, what about the five cups of water. When does that get used?

    1. Pati

      Jun 08

      It’s for the marinade, once you have toasted the dried chiles, put them in a medium saucepan with the water to rehydrate them.

  43. J.Chapa

    Jun 05

    Hi Pati,
    My mom has moved in with me to care for her. We love looking at all your cooking shows for new recipes.That is “our” time. I’m looking forward to making this for my mom. Thank you,God Bless & continued success! ?❤?

    1. Pati

      Jun 08

      That’s amazing that you are cooking and taking care of your mom. Sending you my best!

  44. Joan

    May 21

    Hi again Pati,
    I have a question about the peppers. When I make Chile Colorado, I use New Mexico and Guajillo chiles. To prepare them, I remove the stem and seeds, toast them in a hot skillet, put them in a pot with water, bring to a boil and then let them soak for 30 minutes. I process them and then I put them through a strainer to remove the bits of skin. If I don’t do this step, there will be flecks of skins in my Chile Colorado. I noticed when you make the Barbacoa, you simmer the Ancho and Guajillo chiles and put them through a processor, but don’t strain them to remove the skins. Won’t there be flecks of the skins in your Barbacoa?
    I want to make the Barbacoa and I’ve already purchased my 9.5 quart Le Cruset but I don’t want the pepper skins in there. Thank you for a great show! I never miss and always record them for reference. Gracias!

    1. Pati

      May 25

      Hi Joan! If you don’t want the flakes of skin, I recommend that you strain it. Enjoy!

  45. Aaron Gold

    May 18

    I’ve now made beef barbacoa two weekends in a row! The first weekend I followed the recipe verbatim and it came out gorgeous. The second weekend I used a whole cut of brisket and applied the recipe to a slow cooker. I am seriously considering making this recipe again this Friday because it is so so good! Thanks for an amazing recipe!

    1. Pati

      May 18

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it, Aaron!

  46. Joan

    May 14

    Pati, I love, love, love watching you cook and I can’t wait to make this. Can you please tell me the size of the large orange French oven you used to cook the beef wrapped in the banana skins? I want to be sure I have one large enough. Gracias!

    1. Pati

      May 15

      It’s 9.5qt!

      1. Joan

        May 15

        Thank you Pati!

  47. Carlos Ayala

    Apr 04

    This recipe looks so yummy! I always loved making American BBQ pulled pork or beef. I had a question though. I know it says to serve it with salsa borracha. But can you also heat up any leftover barbacoa not used for cooking the meat as extra sauce?

    1. Pati

      Apr 07

      Of course! It will concentrate its flavors even more. YUM

  48. Jamie York

    Jul 14

    Is the drunken salsa you mention here the drunken prune & orange salsa?

    1. Pati

      Jul 15

      Yes =)

    2. Pati

      Jul 17


  49. Anabel

    Feb 14

    My husband and I Just seen show for 1st time, looked so delicious n easy to do. Can’t wait to try it!! Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Feb 14

      Oh good! Hope you like them.

  50. Kathy Melendez

    Jul 18

    The picture shows red cabbage slaw. I tried to find a recipe on your site, but no luck.

    1. Pati

      Jul 19

      True! It is shredded red cabbage (2 cups) mixed with lime juice (3 tablespoons), olive oil (3 tablespoons), agave syrup (1 tablespoon) and salt to taste.

      1. Kathy Melendez

        Jul 20

        Thank you so much. Mucho gracias!
        My family loved the sliders and the crab jicama salad!

  51. Cheryl

    Mar 12

    If you don’t wrap the meat in packets, would you just mix in the beer with the marinade before roasting in the oven?

    1. Pati

      Mar 12

      What you would do is place the meat on a chicken or turkey holder, without cutting it in smaller pieces and pour the beer under it, the close the baking dish with aluminum foil or banana leaves.

  52. Javier

    Nov 27

    my wife and I would like to say we enjoyed your show we saw it for the first time today and will be trying some recipes soon thanks once again from Texas

    1. Pati

      Dec 01

      Hi Javier, So happy you guys found my show! You will have to let me know what you try!!

  53. Connie

    Jun 11

    I’ve seen this recipe on PBS. The concept of slow cooking in banana leaves with guajillo sauce and light beer was very interesting. I tried using beef short ribs in place of lean meat in a slow cooker. The result was very good and the flavor was great. My husband and I loved it so much.

    Thanks for the recipe, Pati.

    1. Pati

      Jun 11

      Your variation sounds awesome, Connie!

      1. Norma G

        Mar 13

        Pati, what is the purpose of wrapping individual pieces of meat? Do the banana leaves impart a particular flavor to cooking?

        1. Pati Jinich

          Mar 15

          It does! The banana leaves are amazing not just to add flavor but also to prevent the meat to dry in the oven 🙂

  54. Barbara

    Jun 01

    What could I substitute the beer with?

    1. Pati

      Jun 02

      Hola Barbara, For the Pasilla, Prune and Orange Salsa, you can just use an extra cup of boiling water to replace the beer.

      1. Barbara

        Jun 03

        Thank you!

  55. Sara

    May 24

    I made this last night and it’s already all gone! My mother (my pickiest eater) even had seconds. I knew it.was a winner when I blended it all together and it smelled like my suegras coveted birria. I actually didn’t cook the sauce beforehand. I simply forgot and by the time I remembered, itwas already in the baking dish. I also didn’t individually wrap the meat. I made it more like a cochinita pibil and it was still incredibly delicious and tender!

    1. Pati

      May 26

      YUM! So happy to hear you made it your very own, sounds delicious.

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