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March 09, 2023 3 min read

Goat barbacoa tacos are a slow-cooked, traditional Mexican dish featuring tender goat meat seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices. This Instant Pot version of goat barbacoa tacos, is inspired by the authentic preparation of the goat meat, which includes roasting the meat in an underground pit with a woodfire. By using a pressure cooker (and a little help using liquid smoke) we’re able to still create a flavorful tender pulled goat meat without all the extra work. 

These Instant Pot barbacoa tacos are served with corn tortillas, cilantro onions and lime wedges, along with a side of rice and beans. 

Instant Pot Goat Barbacoa Tacos


Rub Ingredients
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt  
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Optional: ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbs divided butter
  • 1 tbs liquid smoke
  • 1 c goat or beef bone broth
  • 2 large onions quartered
  • 2 tbs adobe sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers from same can of chipotle peppers in sauce
  • 1 tbs minced garlic, from a jar
  • 1-2 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Corn tortillas or taco shells of your choice
  • Toppings of your choice: chopped avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, lime juice
  • Suggested sides: Rice and beans

Note: Recipe adaptation is below for making goat barbacoa tacos with a slow cooker.



  1. Mix the rub in a small bowl: smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and cloves. For more kick, add cayenne pepper (optional). Rub over all sides of the goat roast. Keep any leftover rub.
  2. Sear the goat roast in pan on the stovetop with 1 tbs butter on all sides. If using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, use the sauté setting. I prefer to use a pan even if I’m using my Instant Pot.
  3. Remove the goat roast from Instant Pot or pressure cooker, if it was used to sear the meat. 
  4. Mix the following ingredients into your Instant Pot or pressure cooker inner pot: bone broth, apple cider vinegar, onion, peppers, adobo sauce, garlic, liquid smoke and 1 tbs butter.
  5. Put roast into the inner pot.  Set to 60 minutes, high pressure with natural release. Let it slowly release the pressure on its own.
  6. After the natural release is complete, remove the pressure cooker lid carefully.
  7. The roast is done when it is tender enough to pull the goat meat apart with two forks. If it is still tough, cook for another 15-30 minutes and check the meat again. Cooking time will vary based on your pressure cooker and roast size/amount of meat you’re using.
  8. Once cooked, pull out the roast to shred on a plate. 
  9. In the Instant Pot, add one can of tomato paste. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth (you can also use a regular blender). If the sauce is too thin, add more tomato paste from the second can until it reaches your desired thickness.
  10. Add shredded meat back into sauce and stir. Set the pressure cooker with the lid off on simmer for 10-15 minutes to finish the goat barbacoa tacos before serving. 

Serve your goat tacos with corn tortillas or taco shells, top with chopped avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, and the juice from a lime. Rice and beans also made for great side for your barbacoa tacos.

Makes about 6 servings of tacos.


How to adapt this recipe for the slow cooker:

  • Sear the meat in a pan on the stovetop 
  • Mix ingredients into the slow cooker and set to low, for 8-10 hours


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