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Barbacoa, A Staple


Another Tex-Mex favorite while growing up was a dish only bought at a few selecton places on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Barbacoa. True authentic barbacoa comes from a whole cow head cooked all night in a hole in the ground then picked out of the cheek and head.  One could walk up to the counter and request barbacoa (either brain or cheek or both) by the pound.  Served in a taco or on the side with fried eggs, barbacoa was always good so long as you didn't look at it when eating.

Today barbacoa is served everyday all day at long at most hole in the wall taco joints but it is anything but real barbacoa meat.  Nope, today's barbacoa in a quest to fill a food need, it is just shredded beef roast, much like my tacos last night were not carnitas but shredded pork.  True barbacoa must be head/cheek meat, preferably with the essence of wood smoke.  Period.

Scaled for Likability: Great
My local grocer carries cheek meat occasionally and having scored two packages on sale, one was experimented on the pit, the other in the dutch oven.  Both were cooked with cilantro, lime juice, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and salt until fork tender.  Both were absolutely amazing but the pit version was the best.  Now, real barbacoa can be had any time its desired.  Fantastic.


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