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Beef Barbacoa Mexican Recipe

Barbacoa is a cooking method that originated in Mexico. Traditionally, lamb or goat is slowly roasted for several hours in a hole that is covered with maguey leaves. The meat is heavily seasoned with chilies and spices then slow cooked until perfectly tender that it literally falls apart easily.

On this occasion, we will learn how to prepare authentic beef barbacoa following a traditional Mexican recipe.

Beef Barbacoa Served with Mexican Recipe

This barbacoa can be used in so many dishes. Make a taco, burrito, or even on a salad! It takes some time (2hrs approx) but the waiting is totally worth it.


(Serves 8)

  • 1.5Kg beef brisket or beef chuck roast

  • 6 dried Guajillo Chilis

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 cup vinegar

  • 3 bay leaves

  • ¼ cup oil

  • 2 cups of water (divided)

  • Salt

Serve with:

  • 2 cups of water (divided)

  • Corn Tortillas

  • Coriander chopped

  • Onion chopped

  • Lime


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil.

  2. Add salt and 2 tablespoons of ground cumin to one side of the beef.

  3. Place the beef in the pot with the seasoned side down. While the bottom is browning, add salt and 2 tablespoons of ground cumin to the unseasoned top of the beef. Once the beef is brown on the bottom, turn the beef and brown the top. Brown the sides as best you can. (Roughly 4-5 minutes on each side).

  4. Add 1 cup of water to the pot and turn the flame to low.

  5. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

  6. Meanwhile, toast the dried guajillo chile and garlic. About 2 minutes. Turn often, or they will burn.

  7. Add the guajillo, garlic, ½ water, 1 cup vinegar, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth.

  8. Add the guajillo sauce and bay leaves to the pot.

  9. Add ½ cup of water to the blender. Cover with the lid and gently shake to get the last of the sauce. Add the blender remains to the pot.

  10. With a cooking spoon, coat the meat with the sauce.

  11. Cover and cook for 1 more hour.

  12. Shred the meat and serve.

The classic way to eat barbacoa is on a taco, topped with onion, coriander, lime, and your favorite Sauce. Enjoy!

Tag us on Instagram @clocfood, we would love to see your new master chef skills.

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