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Beef Cheek Barbacoa

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 8 hours in slow cooker, or 3 hours in Instant Pot | Serves: 6-8

Beef Cheek Barbacoa
  • Rumba® Beef Cheekmeat (1 package)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 quart beef stock or bone broth (can substitute water or chicken stock)
  1. Place beef cheeks in slow cooker or Instant Pot. Add remaining ingredients.
  2. For slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours until beef cheeks are tender and easily shredded. For Instant Pot, cook on soup/stew setting for approximately 2-3 hours. Once cooked, strain liquid and shred beef cheeks with fork.
  3. Use shredded barbacoa right away or cool down, separate into two zipper-sealed bags (half of mixture in each), and freeze for later use. See recipes below for using beef barbacoa for tacos or quesadillas.
Barbacoa Tacos
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Servings: 6 (3 Tacos each)

½ beef cheek barbacoa mix, thawed
½ white onion, finely chopped
2 cups chopped cilantro
1 bag shredded green cabbage
Juice of ½ lime
Kosher salt to taste
18 corn or flour tortillas

  1. To reheat barbacoa for tacos, remove frozen bag of precooked barbacoa from freezer 1 day prior.
  2. Once thawed, pour meat into microwaveable bowl and place in microwave. Heat until meat reaches minimum internal temperature of 140°F (approximately 4-5 minutes).
  3. For taco toppings, mix onion, cilantro, cabbage, lime juice and salt to taste. Serve barbacoa over corn or flour tortillas and top with mixture.


Tip: To add extra flavor and texture to barbacoa, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to large skillet on medium high heat and add pre-cooked barbacoa. Cook until meat reaches minimum internal temperature of 140°F (approximately 6-8 minutes).