3driedancho chileswiped clean, stemmed, slit open, seeded, and deveined
1garlic cloveroughly chopped
3tomatillosrinsed and halved
½small white onionchopped (½ cup)
Slow Cook the Beef:
To the base of a crockpot/slow cooker, add the beef, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, cumin, thyme, and salt. Set to cook on low for 8 hours (Note: After 6 hours have passed, use a fork to shred the beef and add the ranchero sauce. You may serve the beef as soon as the sauce has warmed, either 7 or 8 hours.
Make the Ranchero Sauce:
In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles, garlic, tomatillos, onion, and water. Blend to form a thick, smooth sauce. Add to the shredded beef inside the crockpot. Use the remaining 1 to 2 hours to heat the ranchero sauce and infuse the beef with flavor. To serve, remove the bay leaves, then scoop the beef along with the juices and serve hot. Leftover barbacoa may be stored for up to 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Note: Don't worry if you don't immediately love the flavor of the ranchero sauce by itself. It's purpose is to be intense, so that it works in concert with the beef and all those beefy juices.