Barbacoa (Slow-cooked beef cheeks)

    11 hours 10 min

    Beef cheeks are cooked slowly with onion and garlic until juicy and tender. In Mexico and the Caribbean, this meat is typically served on tortillas with hot sauce and fresh coriander.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 1.3kg beef cheeks
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 70g salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 500ml water, or more as needed
    • 1/2 Spanish onion, halved and thickly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:7hr  ›  Extra time:4hr  ›  Ready in:11hr10min 

    1. Coat beef cheeks with olive oil. Rub salt, cumin and pepper into meat. Wrap in foil and refrigerate, 4 hours to overnight.
    2. Pour water into a slow cooker.
    3. Arrange onion and garlic around beef cheeks in the foil. Wrap foil tightly around meat and vegetables. Add a second sheet of 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.


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

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    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (7)


    This turned out excellent. Tasted just like the authentic Barbacoa my Mother in law got for us on Sundays. Will definitely make again.  -  29 Apr 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I made this exactly as shown and it was so good!! I will definitely make again.  -  21 Jan 2019  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Really good but would've tasted like authentic mexican barbacoa if the cumin wasnt added but will make it again!  -  10 Jan 2019  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)