Makes about 10 cups

This barbacoa recipe features your choice of beef chuck, pork shoulder, or Boston butt slow-cooked until the meat is tender enough to be shredded with two forks. For more south-of-the-border favorites, see our complete collection of Mexican recipes.

This recipe goes with Taco Bar for a Party

How to Make It

Step 1

In a 9- by 13-inch pan, mix onions, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, bay leaves, chicken broth, lime juice, vinegar, thyme, cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Rinse meat, place in pan, and turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day, turning meat occasionally. Seal pan with foil.

Step 2

Bake in a 300° oven until meat is tender enough to pull apart easily, 4 to 5 hours. Supporting with 2 slotted spoons, transfer meat to a platter. Pour pan juices through a strainer into a 12-inch frying pan or a 5- to 6-quart pan (discard bay leaves; reserve remaining vegetable mixture); skim and discard fat. Boil juices over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3

When meat is cool enough to handle, in about 10 minutes, discard string. Use 2 forks or your fingers to pull meat into shreds; discard fat and connective tissue. Add meat and reserved vegetable mixture to pan with juices. Stir occasionally over medium heat until steaming, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Step 4

Nutritional analysis per 1/2 cup.

Chef's Notes

Notes: Katharine Kagel, owner-chef of Café Pasqual's in Santa Fe, mimics the rich flavor and tender texture of pit-cooked barbacoa (traditionally goat). Garnish tacos with minced cilantro, chopped onions, and Café Pasqual's three-chili salsa. If cooking meat up to 3 days ahead, chill airtight; freeze to store longer.

Café Pasqual, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ratings & Reviews

Llbaker's Review

December 19, 2011
I made this recipe when it was first published and loved it. Have served it at two parties & was a huge it. And the fact that I remember this recipe after 10 years should say it all! Muy bien barbacoa!

eem338787's Review

July 15, 2011
Oooh man, this was GOOD. Had it as tacos with flour tortillas, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Can't wait to make it again. Also, I didn't have enough pan juices to warrant boiling it down, so I just shredded the meat, mixed it all back together, and cooked over med-high heat for a few minutes.

DChandler's Review

September 03, 2009
Simply amazing dish. I thought I was in Cafe Pasqual's when cooking and eating this dish. Thanks Katherine Kagel!