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Rated as 4.52 out of 5 Stars

"A simple barbacoa, slow cooked and seasoned with chiles and spices. Serve on tortillas with salsa, rice, beans or other accoutrements."
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16 h 40 m servings 175
Original recipe yields 24 servings (12 cups)


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  1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the dried guajillo chiles into the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until the color changes and the chiles have puffed, about 5 minutes. Set the chiles aside to cool for a moment. Meanwhile, toast the cumin and cloves in the hot skillet until the cumin seeds begin to pop; remove from the pan and set aside. Remove and discard the stems, seeds, and veins of the chiles, and place into a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over top, and cover. Let the chiles soak for 1 hour.
  2. Grind the toasted cumin and cloves into a powder, and place into a blender. Add the ancho chile powder, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, vinegar, and lime juice. Remove the chiles from the soaking water, and place into the blender along with 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid. Cover, and blend until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Place the beef roast into a mixing bowl, and pour the guajillo chile past over top. Coat the roast on all sides with the paste, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  5. Transfer the roast and marinade to a roasting pan, and arrange the bay leaves over top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven until the meat is very tender and is easily pulled apart with a fork, about 6 hours. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour before discarding the bay leaves and shredding with two forks.


  • Cook's Note:
  • Don't buy guajillo paste, it's never very good. Just buy the dried chiles and rehydrate them with hot water.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 175 calories; 12.5 1.2 13.5 52 34 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 19
  1. 21 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Just wanted to let you know that barbacoa is not a chuck roast; it is beef cheek meat.

Most helpful critical review

Tasted good with corn tortillas but by its self it was a disappointment.

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Least positive

Just wanted to let you know that barbacoa is not a chuck roast; it is beef cheek meat.

Like the other person said, Barbacoa is beef cheek and is very good but has a very different flavor then a roast. Aside from that, this recipe looks really yummy

This recipe is pretty good. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because the meat needs to be browned before roasting, and because the final product didn't have that spiciness I like barbacoa to have....

My fiance is Mexican and he said it should be just a bit more spice..a bit more garlic and an extra guallijo chili. It turned out fine except for this. I actually used cow cheeks and there was a...

Very good recipe. I used the crock pot after a quick sear on the beef instead. Flavorful and tender.

Everything is ggreat except you use dry red ancho chiles, not powder....

Tasted good with corn tortillas but by its self it was a disappointment.

This was really good! Pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to make. this was my first time ever making barbacoa. My picky family enjoyed it.

Phenomenal! Didn't have ancho chili powder so just used a spicy Mexican chili powder instead. I also added 1 tsp of chipotle chile powder. Cooked in Dutch oven at 300 degrees for 4 hours then...