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Mexican Barbacoa

Mexican Barbacoa is a traditional dish that originates from the indigenous people of Mexico. It involves slow-cooking meat (usually beef, lamb, or goat) until it is incredibly tender and flavorful.

Mexican Barbacoa


For the Marinade:
• Beef Chuck Roast: 3-4 pounds, trimmed and cut into large chunks
• Dried Guajillo Chilies: 3, seeds removed
• Dried Ancho Chilies: 2, seeds removed
• Garlic: 6 cloves
• White Onion: 1, chopped
• Ground Cumin: 2 teaspoons
• Ground Black Pepper: 1 teaspoon
• Ground Cloves: 1/2 teaspoon
• Ground Cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon
• Apple Cider Vinegar: 1/4 cup
• Beef Broth: 2 cups
• Salt: To taste
For the Cooking:
• Bay Leaves: 3
• Lime Juice: 2 tablespoons
• Fresh Cilantro: For garnish
For Serving:
• Corn Tortillas: 12-16, warmed
• Onion: 1, finely chopped
• Cilantro: 1/2 cup, chopped
• Lime Wedges: For garnish
• Salsa: Your favorite, for serving


1. Prepare the Marinade:
◦ In a skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo and ancho chilies for about 1-2 minutes on each side until fragrant.
◦ Transfer the toasted chilies to a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 15-20 minutes until softened.
◦ Drain the chilies and transfer them to a blender. Add the garlic, chopped onion, ground cumin, ground black pepper, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, and beef broth. Blend until smooth.
◦ Season the beef chunks with salt, then pour the marinade over the beef, ensuring all pieces are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Cook the Barbacoa:
◦ Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
◦ Transfer the marinated beef and marinade to a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven.
◦ Add the bay leaves and lime juice to the pot.
◦ Cover the pot with a lid or tightly with aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven for 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
3. Shred the Beef:
◦ Remove the pot from the oven and let the beef cool slightly.
◦ Shred the beef using two forks, discarding any excess fat.
◦ Mix the shredded beef with the remaining juices in the pot.
4. Serve:
◦ Warm the corn tortillas on a skillet or griddle.
◦ Serve the barbacoa in the warm tortillas, topped with finely chopped onion, cilantro, and your favorite salsa.
◦ Garnish with lime wedges and extra cilantro if desired.


Serving Suggestions:
• Pair the barbacoa tacos with a side of Mexican rice and refried beans for a complete meal.
• For an extra touch, serve with pickled jalapeños or a fresh avocado salad.

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