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Beef Cheek and Short Rib Barbacoa from Belinda Gonzalez

Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat
Rumba Meats® Beef Short Ribs

Belinda Gonzalez

Original Blog & Recipe by
Belinda Gonzalez

Belinda is a mother of two first and a foodie for the soul second. As a Mexican-American, she has created an extensive collection of homestyle recipes centered around the meals her abuela made for her. Belinda’s goal is to continue to shine a light on the traditions of her culture and bring people closer together one meal at a time. Check out her recipes at @homemade_always.

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Beef Cheek & Short Rib Barbacoa

Succulent Mexican barbacoa made slow-roasted Beef Cheek Meat and Short Rib with a rich blend of spices and seasonings.


  • Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat (2 packages)
  • 1 package Rumba Meats® Beef Short Ribs
  • 10 chile guajillo, deseeded
  • 5 chile ancho, deseeded
  • 2 cups of Chile water, that you soaked the Chiles in.
  • 1 large yellow onion, ½ on the bottom of steamer
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 12 garlic cloves, 4 on the bottom of steamer
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 5 Allspice berries
  • 2-½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to your taste
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoons marjoram
  • Pack of banana leaves
  • Avocado leaves (Optional)
  • Toppings of choice


  1. First remove the seeds from the dried Chiles then place them in a large bowl with hot boiling water. Place a bowl on top to keep the Chiles submerged. Soak them for 20 minutes or until the Chiles have softened and plumped.
  2. When the Chiles have softened add them to a blender with 2 cups of Chile water, ½ onion, cloves, 8 garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, oregano, allspice berries, thyme, marjoram, salt, black peppercorns, blend on high speed until smooth. If you don’t have a power blender, strain your sauce.
  3. Open the beef cheek and beef short ribs packages from Rumba Meats. Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the meat to a large bowl and pour the chile mixture over the meat. Mix to ensure all the meat is covered in the chile mixture. Cover and allow the meat to marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Rinse and pat dry the banana leaves. Over open fire, or using a comal, lightly toast the banana leaves on one side. You will notice the the leaf turn a darker green and it only takes a few seconds (make sure to constantly move the leaf around) this step will create a flexible banana leaf and will be easier to work with.
  5. To a steamer pot add water, ½ onion, and 4 garlic cloves. Create a layer of banana leaves In the steamer pot, like a pouch or blanket. Add avocado leaves then add all the beef including all the marinade. Top the meat with more avocado leaves and cover with banana leaves.
  6. Add foil over steamer and top it off with a lid. Steam on medium low heat for 3-4 hours.
  7. Enjoy!