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Barbacoa Style Venison with Instant Pot and Crockpot Directions

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Tender shredded meat flavored with lime and chiles makes a delicious filling for tortillas or topping for a burrito bowl. This barbacoa inspired recipe is perfect for venison or beef roast. Plus the instant pot or slow cooker does most of the work for you.

Bowl of barabacoa style venison with wedges of lime, ready to be put in a tortilla.

Taco Tuesday just got more interesting! This tender shredded venison or beef is a perfect way to jazz up dinner.

It is loaded with flavor that is either slow or pressure cooked in for super tender results. We love it as a filling for baked chimichangas, but it would also be great in tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls and more!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a few things we are guaranteed to love.

  1. Anything that is going to be wrapped in a tortilla.
  2. Anything that is easy to eat after a busy work day
  3. Anything that is braised meat
  4. Anything that is full of flavor!

This meets all of our criteria for a delicious dinner.  We made it with venison roasts, but it would also be delicious with beef.

instant pot filled with venison, chilis, lime, onions etc. for barbacoa.

 I have never tried it with chicken, but I can imagine that would be wonderful as well.  Heck, if you have a pork roast I would imagine that would be amazing as well.

 In fact I think I am going to have to try each of those things, and soon!  I’ll try to remember to report back when I do. 

This would be great just folded up into tacos.  It would be lovely over a salad or on a Mexican pizza.

Instant pot full of cooked venison barbacoa, ready to be shredded and served.

We have used it in baked chimichangas several times with great results. We love the crisp tortilla shell that we get doing it that way.

The first time I made the refried beans in the crock pot over night and switched them out with the meat before I went to work. I came home ready to shred, stuff and bake.  Dinner was served in no time!

This time I turned to the instant pot. With the added liquid in the recipe, I knew it would work great.

To get the most flavor penetration and to make shredding easier, cut the roast into fist sized chunks.  Then just dump in the rest of the ingredients.

Venison barbacoa chimichanga with refried beans and crunchy flour tortilla shell topped with white cheese sauce and fresh diced tomatoes.

You could certainly sear the meat first and that would add great flavor. However in the interest of time (and possibly some laziness), I did not and we were very pleased with the results.

If you feel like there is too much liquid after the meat is shredded, turn on the sauté function and let some evaporate off.  It will help to concentrate the flavors as well.

Speaking of liquid, you have choices there too.  Beef or chicken broth works great, water will do in a pinch.

Serving bowl filled with shredded venison barbacoa topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

If you have a beer hanging around, that would add great flavor as well.  Use whatever you have or are most comfortable with.

More Great Recipes to Try:

Make some homemade salsa or even a little salsa verde to go with your barbacoa. It is perfect

Or try turning your venison into backstrap and broccoli in the instant pot. Serve it over some rice for a perfect easy meal.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of barabacoa style venison with wedges of lime, ready to be put in a tortilla.

Pulled Venison Barbacoa

Servings: 10 Servings
Author: Carlee
Tender shredded meat flavored with lime and chiles makes a delicious filling for tortillas or topping for a burrito bowl. This barbacoa inspired recipe is perfect for venison or beef roast. Plus the instant pot or slow cooker does most of the work for you.
4.81 from 36 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


  • 2 pounds venison roast
  • 4 oz can chopped green chilis
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 3 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 dash ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Spray slow cooker or instant pot insert with cooking spray.
  • Cut roast into fist sized chunks.
    2 pounds venison roast
  • Place all ingredients into the slow cooker or instant pot.
    4 oz can chopped green chilis, 1 large onion, 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup beef stock, 3 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 dash ground cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 bay leaf
  • For slow cooker: cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  • For instant pot: cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, let naturally release for 10 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure. 
  • Shred meat with two forks to desired texture, being sure to toss all of the meat in the remaining cooking liquids.
  • Eat in tortillas with onion and cilantro, over rice, in a burrito or on nachos. The possibilities are endless!


You can use water, chicken stock, or beer in place of the beef stock.
If you don’t have a venison roast, use a beef roast instead.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 233kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 38gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 318mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

This is a fantastic recipe and works great with extra deer roasts that you don’t know what to do with.

Recipe didn’t ask for it but I coated the raw meat chunks in cumin, garlic powder, salt, chipotle powder/smoked paprika and browned it first. Added an extra layer of flavour.

Will use the left over meat for sandwiches or making a tortilla soup.


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

That sounds amazing! I am glad you liked it.


Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Can I do it with deer meat that is already chopped into cubes?


Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Sure! That should work great.


Sunday 19th of September 2021

I've made this before and today it's joining my tortilla soup as a first with Mexican Street Corn (on the cob) as a side. It is so freaking rich in flavor.


Sunday 19th of September 2021

That sounds like an amazing meal! I am glad you like the recipe.


Saturday 21st of May 2016

Hope I would be successful with this recipe.


Saturday 21st of May 2016

I am sure you will be!


Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

Now we're talking! We love Mexican food and if I'm going to whip up your refried beans I should plan to plug in 2 crock pots and make this right along with it! I love that we can have it one night in tortillas and another on nachos, or even put the meat in a tortilla soup. Girl you are saving me so much time in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

Exactly! I made the beans overnight and this while I was at work. When I got home I was ready to assemble chimichangas for baking. YUM! Thanks, Nikki!