Slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos with pickled onions and pineapple pico.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you the overtime my slow cooker has been working lately.


Since I’m knee deep in book photos, we have a ridiculous amount of food in our house at the moment. I’ve been trying every shoot day to make sure that I’m making SOMETHING that we can eat for dinner that night, because after prepping ten+ recipes everyday, cooking something new is just not in the cards. I also figured that, hey! While my slow cooker is out, I might as well make any and alllll slow cooker recipes that are headed for the new book.

And I keep finding insane ones I love in the process.


My slow cooker?

Five straight days. Five! Different meals of course. It’s not like it ran nonstop for five days. More like I cooked a recipe overnight for about 10 hours and photographed it in the morning, started a new one in the early afternoon, threw it in the fridge and started another one that night. P.S. This slow cooker has still saved my life in the process.

And this was one of my favorite recipes!

I love a delicious, tender, fall-apart barbacoa beef. I love it on salads, in rice bowls, in burritos, in enchiladas and especially in tacos.

Especially when those tacos are covered in pickled onions.

And pineapple pico!

And thinly sliced radish.

And cheeeeese.

Stuffed inside charred tortillas. That I char on my super fancy gas stovetop, like a freak. And occasionally almost burn the house down.

But guess what? This beef has so much flavor and I was so hungry as I was prepping it for dinner that I actually just ate the beef in a tortilla. Plain. Totally cheeseless. Salsaless. Cilantroless!

Apparently I was starvvvving.

Apparently I’ve lost my mind.

It is still super good, even without all the toppings. However… what is life without toppings?


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 (4 pound) beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • corn or flour tortillas

pickled onions

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

pineapple pico

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cubes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place the garlic, peppers, onions, adobo sauce, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano and cloves in the bowl of your food processor and blend until combined.

Season the beef with the salt and pepper. If you have a slow cooker that you can sear in, heat it to the highest setting. If not, heat a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil (to either, whatever you’re using) and once it’s hot, add the beef and sear until deeply golden on every side, about 2 minutes per side.

Place the sauce mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker (and if the beef was seared in there, just lift up the beef and pour it underneath) with the beef over top. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beef falls apart.

pickled onions

Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. You can obviously make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.

pineapple pico

Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir. Let sit for 30 minutes or so for the flavor to develop.