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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-04-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
luke duke
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Default Authentic barbacoa?

Does anyone have any tips for making beef barbacoa? I've got a source for the head and banana leaves, so I'm looking for seasoning and cook time/temp.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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Here's a link to some good looking barbacoa a Brethren posted in Dec.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...light=barbacoa

I'm sure others will have something to add. Let us know how yours turns out.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
Does anyone have any tips for making beef barbacoa? I've got a source for the head and banana leaves, so I'm looking for seasoning and cook time/temp.
How are you gonna cook it? In the ground or in a smoker? I've never used the leaves, just foil and burlap and more foil then wrapped in wire mesh so you can pull it out of the ground easier. Seasoning is simple, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and lots of bay leaves.
If you use the hole in the ground method, it can pretty much go all night and into the next morning 10-12 hours or so. Will you be consuming the tongue, brains, etc? If not, you may just go with the cheek meat and save yourself lots of time.
Hope this helps out a bit.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 01:46 PM   #4
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I am going to cook it on a pit. If I can get my hands on a goat or sheep head then I might cook that too. I don't plan to eat the brains and I'll probably give the tongue to my mother (that just doesn't sound right). I know that just going with the cheek meat would be easier, but I like to do things the hard way.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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Kinda hard to gauge in a pit, but I'd put the head as close to the firebox as possible and I'd go with 325, even more like 350 in the temp range. As far as time goes, probably in the same time frame. Maybe start checking at aobut 6 hrs and then every hour or two from there.
My dad does goat heads pretty often and he starts em off early in the AM. They are wrapped in layers and layers of foil and he does em indirect on the coal grill. He then does yard work all day and by early evening they are done. The key is to cook em then cook em some more so the meat is falling apart. Rotate is every couple hours or so. That way you get even cooking.
It can be done, just takes a good bit of time. Tacos de Cabeza are good eating.
How bout the eyeballs.........you gonna eat those?
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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not to sound dumb, Bob, do people actually eat the eyeballs? I've never heard of it.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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If you are able. Post some pics of that! I would love to see a play by play.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
I am going to cook it on a pit. If I can get my hands on a goat or sheep head then I might cook that too. I don't plan to eat the brains and I'll probably give the tongue to my mother (that just doesn't sound right). I know that just going with the cheek meat would be easier, but I like to do things the hard way.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chambersuac View Post
not to sound dumb, Bob, do people actually eat the eyeballs? I've never heard of it.
Sure do. Just like some eat fish eyeballs. If you have ever eaten the marrow in beef bones, they taste just like that.
Remember, I'm the one that came up with the Innards Throwdown.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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This might help:
http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/20...-barbacoa.html
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycbbq View Post
I like the way he mentioned El Paso. Most taco stands have that on the menu every night!! Good point about the liquid(beer). You will need some liquid. One easy way to do it is to inject the beer through the layers of foil so it's in there with the meat.
They didn't give cooking temps, but assuming she used the pit, they were probably slow and low. You could cook it a bit faster using higher temps. Course, consider the amount of fuel you will be using too.
Cool article.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycbbq View Post
I saw that the other day. It's one of the better references that I have seen, but it didn't mention temp and it says to cook for 24 hours which seemed too long.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 03:31 PM   #13
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My original plan was to cook it similar to a pork butt. Unwrapped for several hours, then wrap for the last few hours. I would probably have it in a foil pan when it is unwrapped.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
My original plan was to cook it similar to a pork butt. Unwrapped for several hours, then wrap for the last few hours. I would probably have it in a foil pan when it is unwrapped.
The only drawback I can see with cooking it unwrapped is that the cheek meat has lots of fat and collagen in it that needs to break down during a long cook. When you eat barbacoa, that "sticky" feel it has is all that collagen that has broken down. Not to say you can't do it like a butt, I'm just thinking you will probably end up with lots of dry meat. If you think about it, the meat on a cow head isn't very thick so it can easily dry out. If you want to go this route, I'd recommend reversing the process. Foil and steam first and then uncovered at the end for some smoke flavor and helping firm up the meat a bit. That's part of the problem with the whole head, you also need to cook (heat through) all that bone mass as well so that you can cook the meat on the inside of the mouth cavity all the way through. Basically you will need to get the entire head up to a set temp and internally as well.
Let us know how it works out. I'd like to see how it turns out.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
Sure do. Just like some eat fish eyeballs. If you have ever eaten the marrow in beef bones, they taste just like that.
Remember, I'm the one that came up with the Innards Throwdown.
The texture....is unique
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