Barbacoa Meat

Serves: 6

I had no idea what cheek meat was, when a fellow DVO cook asked for a recipe. Cheek meat is from the facial cheek of the animal. It is tender and delicious. Serve on tortillas with hot sauce and chopped cilantro. I was unable to find cheek meat here in Utah, so I substituted rump roast. I'm going to keep looking for cheek meat to give it a try. The original recipe said to wrap the meat in aluminum foil and cook it in the foil. I stay away from aluminum foil as much as possible, so I adapted this recipe to cook without it. I especially love the flavor and texture of meat cooked in my cast iron pot.

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3 pounds beef cheek meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups water, or more as needed
1/2 yellow onion, halved and thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped


Coat beef cheek meat with olive oil. Rub salt, cumin, and pepper into meat. Wrap meat in parchment paper, place in a bowl with a tight fitting lid, or a zip lock bag and refrigerate, 4 hours to overnight.

Pour water into a slow cooker or cast iron pot with a lid.

Unwrap the meat and discard the parchment paper. Place meat in pot or slow cooker. Arrange onion and garlic around beef cheek meat.

Cook on Low in crockpot for 7-8 hours, until meat is very tender. - or - cook in covered cast iron pot 3-4 hours in 250° oven. Shred meat using 2 forks.

Serve on corn tortillas, topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and diced onions.

Revised from Source:

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