Instant Pot Barbacoa Shredded Beef With Rice and Fresh Corn Salsa

You are gonna love Barbacoa Beef! Spicy beef is braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic, oregano and lime juice. Served over rice, this tender shredded beef is delicious topped with corn salsa.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef, corn, instant pot
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Chef Alli



  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs. minced chipotles in adobo, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. oregano flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into 6 large chunks, trimmed if necessary
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt combined with 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Warm, cooked rice

Corn Salsa

  • 12 oz. frozen baby gold and white corn, thawed
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


To Make the Beef

  1. Place garlic, red onion, lime zest and juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves, salt, and water into a food processor; pulse to process until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, season beef chunks on all sides with salt and pepper mixture.
  3. Using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot, add the oil. When the oil is nicely hot, add half of the seasoned beef chunks, browning them on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate and repeat with the remaining beef chunks.
  4. Add the prepared sauce from the food processor, along with the bay leaves, to the Instant Pot, returning all of the beef to the pot.
  5. Lock the Instant Pot lid into place. Use the manual setting to choose High Pressure for 45 minutes, bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure.

  6. When the timer sounds, use a natural release for at least 20 minutes, allowing the pressure in the Instant Pot to gradually come down on its own.

  7. Unlock the Instant Pot lid and carefully remove it. Using a fork, test the meat to be sure it is fork-tender. (If the beef isn’t nice and tender, re-pressurize the Instant Pot for 10 more minutes and test the beef again following that.)
  8. Using two forks, shred the meat and reserve the cooking liquid; discard the bay leaves.
  9. Place the shredded beef into a hot skillet over medium high heat; add some of the reserved cooking liquid to the meat to make it a nice juicy consistency. Serve the beef over warm rice, topped with Corn Salsa. 

To Make the Corn Salsa

  1. Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl. 

Recipe Notes

**Please note:  the cooking time stated for this recipe does not include the time required to bring the Instant Pot up to pressure since this can vary. This recipe was made using a 6-quart Instant Pot. 

If you opt to leave the chuck roast in one big piece of meat instead of cutting it into chunks as per the directions here, be sure to increase the pressure cooking time by 25-30 minutes.  Cutting the roast into chunks allows for more browning surface and also helps the roast cook much faster.