Beef Cheek Tacos - Tacos de Barbacoa de Cachete

Beef Cheek Tacos, Tacos de barbacoa de cachete

Beef barbacoa cooked in a dried pepper sauce can either be made with one type of meat or with a combination of several cuts of meat. However, using only beef cheek for this barbacoa recipe makes an absolutely scrumptious dish. The preparation is easy and the results are marvelous. You can prepare it the night before in your slow cooker if you want, but I prefer to use my pressure cooker for quicker results.

For these tacos, I’m using a recipe from one of my aunts, except I’m serving the meat in corn tortilla tacos bathed with the cooking broth, just the way they’re served in a popular taqueria in my hometown. My aunt used to make them with homemade flour tortillas.  They are also popular for breakfast and lunch in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas.

SERVES  ABOUT 6                                                                                    


  • 4 Guajillo Peppers, cleaned, seeded & deveined
  • 1 Ancho pepper, cleaned, seeded & deveined
  • 2 ½ pounds Rumba beef cheek meat*
  • ¼ of a medium white onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium size garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Beef Cheek Tacos, Tacos de barbacoa de cachete

  • You can also use a combination of beef cuts, like beef shank or short ribs, besides the beef cheek meat.


Beef Cheek Tacos, Tacos de barbacoa de cachete

1.     Place the peppers in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until they have softened.
2.     Once the peppers are soft, place into a blender with the garlic, oregano and cumin. Process with a cup of the cooking water until you have a smooth paste.
3.     Next, remove the excess fat off the meat and cut into 2 or three pieces, and place in a pot with the onion and the bay leaves. Pour the sauce using a sieve and add 3 1/3 cups of water.

Beef Cheek Tacos, Tacos de barbacoa de cachete

4.     Cook for 2 ½ hours or until meat is tender and easy to shred. I you cook it in a slow cooker, cook for 6 hours in the slow setting, or in a pressure cooker for 50 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, remove from pot and shred using two forks. Place meat back in the pot, and season the delicious broth with salt and pepper. 
Beef Cheek Tacos, Tacos de barbacoa de cachete

5.     To make the tacos, place meat in the center of the tortilla, roll up, and when ready to serve, spoon some of the broth over the tacos. Top with the jalapeño and onion slices and Serrano salsa. 


What are your favorite tacos? 


  1. Mmm.. sounds & looks wonderful.. Wish I could find some cheek meat here in Ohio.

    1. Hello Kimberly,

      Visit the Rumba Meat website, and check their store locator. I found out there are several places in Ohio that sell their products.

    2. In reply to Kimberly H's question about where to buy cheek meet in Ohio look in the phonebook for slaughter houses in the area they will supply you with whatever kind of meat you need

  2. These tacos look more like enchiladas, but I bet they are delicious! My family has always made barbacoa de cachete without the red sauce. Now I'll have to try this recipe. Thank you.

  3. HOLA Mely made these last month they were great, making them today with pork for tacos and burritos for a family get together, love your site. (:(:(: Troy

    1. Hello pennyflyers,

      Thank you for coming back, I bet there tacos using pork will be as tasty as using beef cheek! Happy cooking!

  4. You should check walmart too thats where i got mine from

  5. Thank you So much for your recipe. I used it for my daughter's birthday party and it was a hit. I also used the recipe for carnitas, but I have to say this one was the crowd favorite! I know I'm going to use more recipes off your site! Thank you! -Sara Juarez

  6. Thank you so much! Was looking for a recipe close to what my grandma made and it's perfect! I cooked my barbacoa with beef cheek for 20 hours on low and came out amazing!! I doubled the amount as i had 4 pounds of meat ♡ Thank you again!!!


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