Food & Drink

How to Make Barbacoa in Your Kitchen

If you live in Texas, you’ve probably enjoyed barbacoa. The tasty, shredded beef is a staple of taco joints from Brownsville to Amarillo. It’s also a favorite Sunday meal for many Texan and Mexican households.

Traditionally, barbacoa is wrapped in aloe leaves and slow-cooked over an open fire or in an in-ground pit. But there is another way to cook barbacoa, and while it’s not traditional, per se, it’s pretty dang tasty.

If you’re short on time or don’t have the means to cook barbacoa the traditional way, there is another method, and you can do it in the comfort of your kitchen.

This recipe for how to make barbacoa from Chef Tips involves cooking the beef in a slow cooker, a staple of most modern kitchens.

Super easy, right? Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

-3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed of some fat and cut into 4-5 pieces
-2 tsp. salt, to taste
-2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
-3 bay leaves

Barbacoa Sauce:
-1 cup beef broth
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-7 cloves garlic, peeled
-2 tablespoons ground cumin
-1/4 tsp. ground cloves
-1-2 tsp. ground black pepper
-1 tbs. oregano
-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in your Mexican section of the supermarket)
-Juice from 1/2 lime

What this recipe doesn’t include is fresh chopped cilantro and onions, which I highly recommend if you’re eating this on tortillas.

Also, this recipe uses beef chuck roast; however, most modern versions of the recipe use parts of the cow’s head, particularly the cheek.

If you want a closer look at how barbacoa is traditionally made, check out this video. Fun fact: many believe the word “barbecue” derives from “barbacoa.”

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How to Make Barbacoa in Your Kitchen