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Barbacoa Meat


"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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11 h 10 m servings 316 cals
Original recipe yields 12 servings


  • Calories:
  • 316 kcal
  • 16%
  • Fat:
  • 26.2 g
  • 40%
  • Carbs:
  • 1.3g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 18.2 g
  • 36%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 80 mg
  • 27%
  • Sodium:
  • 2403 mg
  • 96%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  2. Pour water into a slow cooker.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


  • Partner tip: Try using a Reynolds® slow cooker liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

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Read all reviews 13
  1. 14 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

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 casserol...

Most helpful critical review

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.

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

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 casserol...

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 b...

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...

I'll never buy meat market (carniceria) barbacoa again. This came out perfect and was so delicious!

This turned out excellent. Tasted just like the authentic Barbacoa my Mother in law got for us on Sundays. Will definitely make again.

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.

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.

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 b...

I cut the salt down to 1/3 cup and added 2 tsp ground Oregano to the marinade.