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Red beef barbacoa recipe
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This Red Beef Barbacoa is inspired by a dish favorite in the State of Veracruz and its neighboring States. There are many other recipes all over Mexico that is prepared very similar to this Red Beef Barbacoa, but every region creates their unique dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 636kcal


  • 2.5 Lbs Beef Cheek from Rumba Meats
  • 1 Lbs Beef Bones Rumba Meats, optional
  • ½ mediun size onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 avocado leaves optional, see notes

For the red Adobo Sauce

  • 4 Ancho peppers cleaned, with seeds and veins removed
  • 2 Guajillo Peppers cleaned, with seeds and veins removed
  • 1 Morita pepper with the stem removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Remove the meat from the package and rinse it, then dry it using paper towels. Cut it into two or three pieces, depending on the size of the cooking pot you're using; the parts should be more or less the same size so they can cook evenly.
  • Place the meat pieces, bones, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and avocado leaves (if using) in a large cooking pot. Cover with water and cook until the meat is very tender and you can easily shred it. If using a regular stock pot to cook on the stove, the meat will be ready in about two and half hours. In the slow cooker, it will take 8 hours in the low setting and 6 hours in the high setting. It will take 50 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 40 minutes in an Instant Pot.
  • While the meat is cooking, lightly toast the peppers for a few seconds on the griddle, then place them in a saucepan with hot water and let them soak for 20-30 minutes until they're very soft.
  • Drain the peppers and place them in your blender with the two garlic cloves, oregano, and 1 cup of the cooking broth (or clean water). Process until you have a smooth sauce.
  • Remove the cooked meat from the pot. Discard any fat and shred the meat.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and pour the sauce in. Fry the sauce for a few minutes, then stir in the shredded meat. Let it cook for about 5-8 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, chopped onion and cilantro, and green salsa. You can serve it with raw or cooked green salsa.


  • You can also use Beef Hind Shank from Rumba Meats. If you choose this option, buy 2 packages.
  • Also, if you use the beef hind shank, then you won't need to buy the bone narrows. Just be sure that any combination of meat that you use includes bones, in order to enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • Avocado leaves are available at Latin stores or online. You can skip them and only add the bay leaf. You can also use “Hoja Santa” leaves, which are also sold online.
  • The Morita pepper is similar in spiciness to a Chipotle pepper, so don't use it if you want a mild flavor.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 636kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 1380mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 9270IU | Vitamin C: 12.2mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 7.4mg