Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Crockpot barbacoa...easy & delicious
It all starts with beef cheek...or at least mine does, as the traditional process involves an entire cow head. I don't know about your house, but mine does not have a refrigerator large enough for that business. Please ignore that beef cheek meat is not your pretty, clean cut of meat like you normally use. It is positively primal in appearance, with all manner of fatty bits and stuff. I clean off most of the fat but leave the other stuff, unless it is an obvious vein, which grosses me out, so I'll practice my knife skills on that. In other words, remove it without losing a finger.
I cook my barbacoa in the crockpot, using a little seasoning, orange juice, apple cider vinegar and water. You want the liquid to cover the meat, so chop it in large sections if necessary. I had a half of an onion and some garlic cloves that needed to be used before they ended up in my compost bin, so I rough chopped them and threw them in, too. After long and low cooking, you'll end up with what almost looks like pot roast, only it shreds easily with two forks. I found myself unable to resist eating barbacoa tacos immediately after the meat was done. I doubt you could resist it, either. Somewhere in heaven, my Grandpa is smiling, pointing down to me and saying "¡Esa es mi nieta!".
1-2 cups water
juice from half a regular sized orange
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar
3-4lbs beef cheek meat
fresh, roughly chopped onion & garlic if you have it on hand
Combine water, juice and apple cider vinegar and pour into bottom of crockpot. Liberally season meat, add to crockpot along with fresh veggies, if using any. Cook on low heat for 12 hours. Remove from liquid, shred with forks. Serve with warm tortillas and any condiment or toppings desired, such as salsa, chopped cilantro, diced onion.