Makes enough meat to stuff 30 tacos
4 chipotle peppers (from a can), minced, plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 to 7 pounds beef brisket
4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock
5 bay leaves
Stir together the chipotle peppers and their sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar and pour into a 7-quart slow cooker (if you have a food processor, you can also pulse till combined before adding). Place the brisket on top of this mixture. (Cut the brisket into a few pieces if necessary to better fit in the slow cooker.) Add stock to cover the meat and place the bay leaves on top. Use tongs to turn the meat a few times in the sauce.
Put the lid on the slow cooker. Cook for 8 to 10 hours on LOW. When done cooking, it should shred easily with two forks.
Transfer the meat from slow cooker to a rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat, if desired (though if you plan on frying it again before use, the small fat bits are extra tasty and should be kept!). Place the shredded beef in large bowl and ladle the cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it; you may not need to use all of the cooking liquid. (The leftover liquid is very tasty and can be frozen in cube-sized portions for use in later dishes.)
To keep the barbacoa warm for guests, you can return the shredded beef to your slow cooker and keep it warm on the WARM setting. Serve with fresh tortillas, onion, cilantro, and salsa.
• Doubling this recipe: If your slow cooker is large enough to hold double the amount of meat, you can simple double the recipe. Otherwise, plan ahead and make two batches back to back. Once the meat is shredded, it should be reduced enough in volume to be warmed in a single slow cooker.
• Using Other Cuts of Meat: Other than brisket, any tough “roast” cut will work: shoulder or rump roast, top or bottom round. Similar cuts of pork, lamb, or goat also make fine substitutes.