Skip to content

Shredded Beef Cheek Barbacoa from @isabeleats

Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat

Shredded Beef Cheek Barbacoa

Succulent shredded beef cheek barbacoa braised in Mexican beer, liquid smoke, pasilla peppers, and various spices. Perfect for making into tacos, tortas, and quesadillas.


  • Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat (2 packages, fat trimmed and sinew removed)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large white onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces Mexican pilsner beer (or broth)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 3 pasilla peppers, rinsed and stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Season the beef cheeks generously with salt and black pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear on both sides until browned. Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the beer, broth, liquid smoke, pasilla peppers, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves.
  5. Add in the seared beef cheeks and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 4 hours until fall apart tender.
  6. Transfer the cooked meat to a serving bowl and shred with two forks.
  7. Carefully pour the remaining cooking liquid from the Dutch oven or pot into a large blender and blend until smooth.
  8. Pour the blended sauce into the serving bowl with the meat. Stir in the lime juice, taste, and season with more salt if needed.
  9. Serve the barbacoa in tacos, quesadillas, tortas, on tostadas, or over Mexican rice.