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Barbacoa Tacos

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

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Print Recipe
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Plating10 minutes
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 tacos


  • Steamer
  • Blender
  • Frying pan



  • 1.5 kg Beef clod also referred as shoulder clod
  • 1 tbsp pork lard substitute with 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 brown or white onion cut in 4
  • 1 garlic clove cut in half
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp back pepper corns
  • 2 dried guajillo chillies
  • 2 banana leaves if not available use aluminium foil
  • 12 corn tortillas preferably from La Tortilleria
  • 2 limes cut in 6 wedges each
  • ½ brown or white onion chopped for garnish
  • ¼ coriander bunch chopped for garnish
  • rock sea salt

Arbol Salsa

  • 8 dried arbol chillies
  • 2 dried guajillo chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ brown or white onion
  • 3 to matoes
  • 100 ml vegetable oil


  • Cut the meat in small chunks of approximately 10x10x10 cms and season the meat with rock sea salt.
  • On a frying pan melt the lard and sear the chunks of meat until all sides have a ‘crust’.
  • Deseed and devein the guajillo chilies and soak them in warm water until covered for 10 minutes. Then blend the water and chillies for 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Fill up the steamer base with water halfway, then add the guajillo chillie mix, onion, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves and pepper corns. Add more water if needed to fill up the water tank.
  • Remove the edges of the banana leaves and pass them though the stove flame until it softens up and changes colour. Put them banana leaves in the bottom of the steaming section and the side walls. Then place the meat chunks and cover with more banana leaves.
  • Cook the meat at low heat for about 4 hours or until it is so tender that it breaks when just putting a fork in.
  • Pull and chop the barbacoa meat and place on a corn tortilla, add coriander, onion and salsa on top. Serve with limes on the side.
Arbol Salsa
  • Put water to boil and add all the ingredients – except for the oil. Let them cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Put all the ingredients in the blender with a little bit of the water from cooking and add salt.
  • Whilst it blends add the oil slowly until thickens.


  • You can use a slow cooker instead. Just keep adding the guajillo chilli water to keep the meat moist.
  • You can replace banana leaves with avocado leaves or baking paper as the last option.
  • The broth from the steaming can be eaten as a soup – caldo de barbacoa. Just add onion, coriander, lime and chilli slices 😋
  • You can also use lamb instead of beef for a more traditional recipe.