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Trinidad Scorpion Barbacoa Tacos

by Sonoran Spice
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When I imagined making a recipe with one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Trinidad Scorpion pepper, I wanted something that could be accompanied by softer food. Soft tacos are the best! You can mix very spicy ingredients with crunchy and soft ones like green pepper and avocado.

Trinidad Scorpion Barbacoa Recipe

My original recipe for Barbacoa is not very spicy, it is rather based on cumin powder which brings out quite a bit of flavor but it is kinda boring because it lacks any heat. This version is tastier, it slightly sweet because of the sugar which works well with the acidic taste of the lime. The Trinidad Scorpion Powder adds the perfect kick, you just have to be careful when adding it as a little goes a long way.

Sonoran Spice Trinidad Scorpion Seasoning and Barbacoa Taco Ingredients

You have several ways to make this Barbacoa. You can use a simple pot with a thick bottom, a slow cooker, even an Instant Pot if you own one. All these options work well! With so many options the big difference is going to be cook time. The Instant Pot is the quickest and you will need 8 hours with the slow cooker on low. 

Personally, I used my old simple saucepan. If you take care, it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan because of juice from the meat. The tip is to add some water if necessary. This will not make the dish bland, because the sauce maintains the flavor.

You can serve this Trinidad Scorpion Barbacoa with basmati rice if tacos aren’t your thing. I personally like it in the tacos depicted here because the Trinidad Scorpion pepper goes well with the sweetness of the avocado. And I also like the crunchy of the other ingredients like the onion and the green bell pepper. The meat is slow-cooked, so it no longer has the hard chewy texture and it’s nice to add some crunchy vegetables with it.

Trinidad Scorpion Barbacoa Recipe

Spicy Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Barbacoa Tacos
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Spicy Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Barbacoa

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword barbacoa, barbacoa recipe, scorpion pepper, spicy barbacoa, spicy barbacoa recipe, trinidad moruga scorpion, trinidad scorpion pepper
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 766kcal
Cost $12


  • Large pan or pressure cooker
  • Knive
  • Fork
  • Stove



  • 2 lb beef chuck roast cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Powder
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 green bell pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash pepper



  • Start by browning all of the sides of the beef pieces in a big nonstick pot (could be a slow cooker) for 10 minutes on high heat. Set aside.
  • Add the canola oil and sauté the onion until tender then add the garlic and the Trinidad Pepper powder. Sauté the pepper with garlic and onion for 4 minutes. Pour the beef broth, lime juice, apple cider vinegar and bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to boil, add the meat pieces and reduce the heat. Cover and let it cook for 2 to 3 hours. Mix occasionally and make sure there is enough liquid at all times to prevent burning. Add additional water if needed.
  • When the meat is tender, remove the pieces and shred them with two forks. Put the pieces back in the pot and mix, the meat must be thoroughly soaked in the sauce.
  • For tacos top with sliced green bell peppers, red onion, and avocado. You can also add to crunchy taco shells or make burritos.


Calories: 766kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 838mg | Potassium: 1365mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 8mg

Learn About Trinidad Scorpion Peppers

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Guide

Shop Sonoran Spice Trinidad Scorpion Products

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