Slow Roast Barbacoa: learning at an early age
The name Barbacoa sounds a lot harder to make than you think. At least for me, making Spanish Rice is harder than making this Easy Crock Pot Barbacoa Recipe. I had barbacoa for the first time at a very young age. I grew up watching my dad make Barbacoa from an early age. The best tasting Barbacoa recipe was when he cooked it underground. Yup, underground! throughout Mexico, Barbacoa varies by region but what unites this recipe is the cooking method. Picture this, a pit made out of brick that reached about 6 ft. underground covered by a metal slate. Roasting your Barbacoa underground was a long, long process that took 8 to 10 hrs, usually overnight. Flavorful, tender juicy meat that can be pulled apart with your bare fingers was worth the wait. Fast forward 20 years and that brick pit stills exists in our backyard. Unfortunately, the pit is now filled with dirt and no longer in service, and I am not about to start digging up 6 feet of dirt to get it going again. Maybe one day….My dad would only use the pit when he made big batches for catering. Today I settle for cooking my Barbacoa in a crock pot or a larger pot for bigger batches. Of course, I would never be able to duplicate that juicy, flavorful taste I had in my early years but its still the best tasting Barbacoa I’ve had. The great thing about making big batches is using the left overs to make tacos (recipe to follow), burritos and salads. For the purpose of this recipe, I made a small batch so that anyone can learn to make it without feeling overwhelmed.
Easy Crock Pot Barbacoa Recipe
4 lbs chuck roast (fat trimmed), also know as Diezmillo
7 lighly roasted Chile Juagillo
1 Roasted Jalapeño
1 Roasted Chile Güero/ Yellow Pepper
6 Roasted Tomatillos (I used Milperos about 20 count)
5 Roasted Roma Tomatoes
1/4 of an Onion
3 Bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1 Green onion
1 Celery Rib (stick)
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tbs of Oregano
1 tbs of sea salt
1/2 tbs of raw vinegar
Additional salt to seasoned meat
Directions: Crock Pot Barbacoa Sauce
Roast the Roma Tomatoes, Jalapeño, Chile Güero/ Yellow Pepper, Tomatillos or Tomatillos Milperos, in a griddle/Comal at low-medium heat until they become chard. Set aside to cool and peel the skin off the tomatoes and chilies.
Lightly roast the Chile Guajillo in a pan or griddle until you start to slightly see it chard and smell like Chile. Be careful not to over chard.
Add all the the chilies, veggies, vinegar and seasonings to a high speed blender. Add about 1/4 of water to the container and blend until consistency is reached. A thick, smooth consistency with a very dark red color. If you do not have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, I recommend you add the chile Guajillo and tomatoes first with a few ounces of water to the blender and strain with a colander before adding the rest of the ingredients. You do not want any chucks or pieces in the sauce.
Directions: Chuck Roast Meat
Trimmed any fat and cut into about 2 to 3 inch cubes. Seasoned with salt. One method I use to get the right about of salt is to seasoned each piece of meat individually instead of the batch at once. Dip each piece of meat into the red sauce allowing it to be fully covered. Do this for the remainder of the batch.
Add the meat and remaining sauce into a crock pot and bay leaves. I like to marinate the meat at the very minimum overnight, the longer the better. Cook the meat in a crock pot for 4 to 5 hrs in a high heat or 8 hrs in low heat (more tender). One way to know if the meat is fully cook is to take two forks and pull the meat apart. You should effortlessly be able to do this, to the point were the meat falls apart.
Finish off by pulling the rest of the meat apart and allowing the meat to simmer for an additional 10 minutes allowing juices to adsorb evenly.
Serve by itself with cilantro and onions or serve with rice/beans for a perfect Authentic Mexican dish.
Chef’s note: If your are planing to serve as a soup you will need to add an additional 6 oz of water or chicken broth to the crock pot at the beginning of the cooking process. If you are serving as tacos or used in combination with other foods no need to add this step. Cheers to an easy Crock Pot Barbacoa Recipe!