3.666665
3 ratings

Messy Barbacoa Beef Nachos

An explosion of ingredients in one gloriously messy pile
Barbacoa beef nachos with a chipotle lime cream sauce
Melissa Elsmo / Pioneer Press

This recipe makes a generous portion of beef, which is also delicious wrapped in soft corn or flour tortillas with a garnish of onions and cilantro.

This recipe by Melissa Elsmo originally appeared in The Pioneer Press and Chicago Tribune.

Ingredients

For the slow cooker barbacoa beef:

  • 4 Pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) can chipotle in adobo, 2 chilies reserved
  • 3/4 Cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 limes, halved
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can reduced sodium chicken stock

For the chipotle lime cream:

  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 2 reserved chipotle chilies, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

For the nachos:

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag sturdy lightly salted tortilla chips (I used El Milagro brand)
  • 1 Cup queso quesadilla cheese
  • 1/2 Cup shredded American cheese
  • 1/2 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 Cups barbacoa beef
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pink beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
  • Cilantro lime cream
  • 4 scallions, snipped
  • 1 Cup halved grape tomatoes
  • Hot pickled nacho peppers (optional)

Directions

For the slow cooker barbacoa beef:

Step 1: Season a 3-4 pound bonless beef roast liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half a large sliced onion, 8 cloves of smashed garlic and 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate in the bottom of a 6-8 quart slow cooker. Add the roast to the cooker and top with the remaining onion, chipotle chiles and all the adobo sauce, 3/4 cups brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Tuck 3 bay leaves and the 3 halved limes around the roast and pour 12.5 ounces chicken stock over the whole thing.

Step 2: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours until the meat shreds easily with two forks.

Step 3: Remove the limes and bay leaves before shredding all the meat. Whisk the liquid in the pot and moisten the meat with some of that chocolatey goodness. Shredded meat can be covered and refrigerated for two days before proceeding with this recipe.

For the chipotle lime cream:

Step 1: Mixed all the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate the cream overnight to allow flavors to blend.

For the nachos:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Spread 16 ounces of tortilla chips in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Step 3: Combine 1 cup shredded American cheese and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar in a medium bowl. Sprinkle half the cheese over the chips.

Step 4: Top with 3 cups shredded barbacoa beef and 1 can rinsed and drained pink beans. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the nachos and place in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and beef is hot.

Step 4: Remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle the entire thing with the onions and cilantro. Drizzle or dollop the chipotle lime cream over the entire tray of nachos. Garnish with the scallions, tomatoes and pickled pepper slices. Serve at once with loads of napkins.