Vegan Barbacoa Tacos
If you live some place where taco restaurants are plentiful, like they are here in Florida, you’ve surely heard of barbacoa. But what exactly is barbacoa? It’s a form of slow cooking meat, usually goat, sheep, or beef, over an open fire or steamed until very tender. It’s a word that comes from the Taíno, a group of indigenous people in the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, and others, and it is where the word “barbecue” comes from. That said, this Vegan Barbacoa Tacos recipe is a twist on barbacoa, as it is not slow cooked and not meat! Instead, it has the flavors of barbacoa but with jackfruit (which doesn’t need to be cooked that long).
To get the savory flavor of barbacoa, I used onion, garlic, Hatch green chilies, veggie broth, apple cider vinegar, and my secret weapon – chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. You can find canned chipotle in adobo sauce in the ethnic foods section, right where you’ll also find Hatch green chilies!
What’s your favorite way to taco?
Gluten-Free Vegan Barbacoa Tacos Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1 medium red onion , diced, divided
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans jackfruit in water, drained and patted dry, seeds discarded
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped Hatch green chilies, undrained
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce , minced (or more if you prefer it spicier)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime , plus more limes for serving
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 12 corn tortillas , heated
- Sliced radishes
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Reserve ¼ cup onion for garnish and add the rest to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the jackfruit and smash with the back of a spoon or potato masher. Add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit starts to sear, about 10 minutes. Add the green chilies, chipotle pepper, vegetable broth, vinegar, and lime juice. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Combine the reserved onion with the cilantro and serve the jackfruit mixture in tortillas with the cilantro/onion garnish and sliced radishes.
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