Total Time
10hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 hrs

This is the way my dad makes barbacoa when he doesn't have time to make it the traditional way. I'm posting the recipe so that I don't lose it... (again)


  1. First, trim as much fat as you can from meat. Place in a slow cooker.
  2. In a blender, add about 1 cup of water. Blend cilantro, garlic (i usually use all of the bulb), onion, salt and pepper with water. (you can use as much or as little spices you want, depending on your taste).
  3. Pour this mixture over meat then add about 2-3 cups of more water depending on how much meat you are cooking.
  4. Cook meat in slow cooker on low for about 8 -10 hours. Again, this depends on how much meat you have.
  5. If you are going to eat this for breakfast (which is the traditional way), cook the day before and let is cool overnight. (I usually start cooking mine on Saturday AM until about 6PM, then let it cool. When cool enough, I refrigerate overnight).
  6. In the morning (Sunday AM) BEFORE heating up, skim all the grease that comes to the top.
  7. TOPPINGS: Chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh jalapenos, shredded cheese, & sliced avocados.
  8. CHEEK MEAT: Beef cheek meat is very tender but very very fatty. You may want to buy more or less meat, depending on the size. You can use beef roast, if you want, but cheek meat is AWESOME (if you can find it).
Most Helpful

This was great. We eat barbacoa at least one Sunday a month. I usually go out an buy it already made. Most places only make it on the weekend. We had house guests from up north during the week and they wanted to try barbacoa, so I followed this recipe. It was as good as any I have ever eaten. I'll make this again for sure.

Pokey in San Antonio, TX January 28, 2006

Delicious! Split this with a couple friends and we devoured it. It came out a little dry, but that was my fault (lab went long, so I ended up leaving it in for 10.5 hrs). I'll definitely make again and shoot for 8 or 9 hours. Great flavor; I fully recommend.

-:- M

MrFortissimo April 24, 2011

this was a simple, delicious, authentic tasting recipe that allowed me to utilize both an inexpensive cut of beef andmy favorite kitchen helper, my crockpot! the smells of all that bright green cilantro, onion, and garlic always lure my husband into the kitchen to see what's cooking. just be sure to cut it up before you toss it in the pot so all the little bits f fat can break down. as a white girl married to a man who grew up on his mexican grandmother's cooking, i LOVE this recipe!

899170 July 31, 2008