Bison Roast Barbacoa in Slow Cooker

by Jun 9, 2021

While looking through my freezer recently, I came across a big roast from last year when we purchased a quarter from North Bridger Bison. I wanted to cook it, but the weather here in Bozeman has not recently been encouraging a beef bourguignon, daube, or stew-by-any-other-name treatment. When it’s warm but you still have a roast to cook—Barbacoa to the rescue!

I’ve posted about Barbacoa before, when I first tried Ali’s recipe over at Gimme Some Oven. Here, I’ve adapted that recipe for a full roast and added a beer for good measure. Using the full roast without cutting it up made the preparation that much easier and I highly recommend it! If you don’t have bison, beef will work just fine.

Bison Roast Barbacoa

recipe adapted from Ali of the blog Gimme Some Oven


  • 2–3 pound bison roast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 7 ounce can diced green chiles mild or hot
  • 2 chipotle in adobo with some of the sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth ideally low sodium, otherwise possibly use less salt when you brown the roast
  • 1 12 ounce can of light beer MAP brewing Strange Cattle is great!

For serving:

  • tortillas, 6-inch or street taco size
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • radishes, scrubbed and halved or sliced
  • cilantro leaves
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges


  1. Sprinkle the roast with salt. Heat oil in slow cooker insert (if safe for stovetop use, otherwise use dutch oven) over medium high heat on the stovetop, and brown the roast on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the roast in the slow cooker: white onion, green chiles, chipotle in adobo, garlic, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, ground cloves, broth, and beer. Cook on high for 4–6 hours.

  3. Transfer roast to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Reduce the sauce a bit on the stovetop then recombine the meat and sauce to serve with tortillas, fresh white onion, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.

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