Traditionally a Sunday morning treat, but barbacoa is great any morning. Barbacoa can be for the more adventurous, but a real treat none-the-less. I do not recommend substituting the cheek meat with roast, it won't taste right. Barbacoa has a certain gelatinous slide and tack that is the hallmark of the genre. Serve on tortillas with hot sauce and chopped cilantro.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Coat beef cheek meat with olive oil. Rub salt, cumin, and pepper into meat. Wrap meat in aluminum foil and refrigerate, 4 hours to overnight.

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  • Pour water into a slow cooker.

  • Arrange onion and garlic around beef cheek meat in the aluminum foil. Wrap foil tightly around meat and vegetables. Add a second sheet of aluminum foil around meat mixture, sealing tightly; place in the slow cooker.

  • Cook on Low, adding more water if it has evaporated, until meat is very tender, 7 to 8 hours. Remove foil packet from slow cooker and shred meat using 2 forks.

Cook's Note:

This recipe calls for a lot of salt, but it is needed.

Partner Tip

Try using a Reynolds® slow cooker liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Nutrition Facts

316.4 calories; 18.2 g protein; 1.3 g carbohydrates; 80 mg cholesterol; 77.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (19)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2014
FAN FLIPPIN TASTIC! ! I used the oven, low n slow-300 degrees for 4-5 hrs. 2 bottles of beer n some bay leaves, left this beef incredibly tender! The meat is very versatile, use it for casseroles, tamales, tequitos, even shredded beef burgers. As far as the salt issue, I just sprinkled the beef liberally with salt n pepper, not nearly 1/4 cup and it was perfectly fine. I did not marinate this at all. We ate this for dinner of course and can't wait to make Machaca in the morning with it!! Read More
(20)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/09/2017
Will definitely not be making this again. I could not get past the "gelantinous slide". I used beef cheek. I had to throw it out after a few bites. Read More
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2014
FAN FLIPPIN TASTIC! ! I used the oven, low n slow-300 degrees for 4-5 hrs. 2 bottles of beer n some bay leaves, left this beef incredibly tender! The meat is very versatile, use it for casseroles, tamales, tequitos, even shredded beef burgers. As far as the salt issue, I just sprinkled the beef liberally with salt n pepper, not nearly 1/4 cup and it was perfectly fine. I did not marinate this at all. We ate this for dinner of course and can't wait to make Machaca in the morning with it!! Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2014
FAN FLIPPIN TASTIC! ! I used the oven, low n slow-300 degrees for 4-5 hrs. 2 bottles of beer n some bay leaves, left this beef incredibly tender! The meat is very versatile, use it for casseroles, tamales, tequitos, even shredded beef burgers. As far as the salt issue, I just sprinkled the beef liberally with salt n pepper, not nearly 1/4 cup and it was perfectly fine. I did not marinate this at all. We ate this for dinner of course and can't wait to make Machaca in the morning with it!! Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2014
With the mixed reviews, I was hesitant to make this recipe. After cutting off most of the fat, I did have about 2 lbs of meat remaining. I cut the salt (used flake sea salt), cumin, and garlic by half but kept the water and onion the same since I had appointments that day. I didn't find it salty at all. With onions, cilantro, limes, and Corn Tortillas (from AR) this recipe was really good. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2016
I bought cheek meat on sale not knowing what recipe I would even use it for. I found this recipe and although I found some others that used chuck roast instead, I wanted to try and make Barbacoa authentically. I reduced the salt by a tablespoon (we still really like salt, although I think I could have used the directed amount and it would have been fine) as per other reviews and used more Cumin to make up the difference. Marinated for 12 hours or so. We made tacos with it, topped with some Mexican blend cheese, salsa, and sour cream. It was awesome! My husband said it needs to be a weekly dish (great for me because I get to use the slow cooker) and after smelling the leftovers he brought for lunch, his co-workers asked me to make more for them next time since it's usually only available at a few restaurants here in Texas. I'd never even heard of this dish before, but so happy I stumbled across it. Set it and forget it prep. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
08/12/2015
I'll never buy meat market (carniceria) barbacoa again. This came out perfect and was so delicious! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2019
I love making this dish. I try to make it on a regular basis. My family is of Hispanic origin and we got tired of having to go out to eat this dish. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2017
This turned out excellent. Tasted just like the authentic Barbacoa my Mother in law got for us on Sundays. Will definitely make again. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
02/21/2016
Was so easy and straightforward. I did find the beef cheek way too salty for us. I will definitely use this recipe again but reduce the salt. Other than that it reminded me of the taco places back home in Texas. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2016
So few ingredients and few steps and yet a very delicious meal. Didn't have 3# so had to modify proportions a bit. It was so tender and flavorful. Definitely going to be repeated. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2015
I cut the salt down to 1/3 cup and added 2 tsp ground Oregano to the marinade. Read More
(2)
Rating: 1 stars
01/09/2017
Will definitely not be making this again. I could not get past the "gelantinous slide". I used beef cheek. I had to throw it out after a few bites. Read More