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Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos

By Mandy Tanner

Barbacoa, beef that’s slowly smoked and then braised until meltingly tender and flavored with chipotle and other spices, makes a delicious filling for tacos. Though beef cheek is a traditionally used cut, you can sub chuck roast for it; just cut it into strips about 4 inches long and 2 inches across.

Prep Time

15 Min

Cook Time

5 Hr

Pellets

Hickory

Ingredients

This recipe serves:

8

Units of Measurement:
main
4 Pound beef cheeks, trimmed
2 Tablespoon Traeger Rub
1/2 white onion chopped, plus more finely diced for serving
10 Clove garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotles in adobo
2 Teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 Cup beef stock or broth, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
20 Small (4- to 5-inch) corn tortillas
1 Cup fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
1 Cup crumbled cotija cheese, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
This recipe serves:

8

Units of Measurement:
main
4 Pound beef cheeks, trimmed
2 Tablespoon Traeger Rub
1/2 white onion chopped, plus more finely diced for serving
10 Clove garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotles in adobo
2 Teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 Cup beef stock or broth, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
20 Small (4- to 5-inch) corn tortillas
1 Cup fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
1 Cup crumbled cotija cheese, for serving
lime wedges, for serving

Steps

  • 1

    Season the meat all over with the Traeger Rub.

  • 2

    Preheat the Traeger to 225°F with the lid closed; this will take about 15 minutes. Use Super Smoke if available.

  • 3

    Place the meat directly on the grill grates, close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature is 160°F, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. (The time will vary depending on the weather, the grill model, and the meat.)

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 4

    Remove the meat from the grill and increase the grill temperature to 275°F.

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

  • 5

    In a disposable (half size) aluminum pan or 9 x 13-inch roasting pan, combine the onion, garlic, adobo, oregano. Add the beef stock then stir in the apple cider vinegar. Add the beef to the pan; the braising liquid will not completely cover the meat, which is fine. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil or a double layer of regular foil. Place the pan directly on the grill grate, close the lid, and cook until the meat can be easily pulled apart with a fork, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Note that the meat’s internal temperature should be at least 205°F, but it may not be tender as soon as it reaches that time so judge the doneness by tenderness.

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

    205 ˚F / 96 ˚C

  • 6

    Remove the pan from the grill and allow to cool slightly. Reserving the braising liquid, transfer the meat to a cutting board and shred. Keep the meat warm in some of the reserved braising liquid until ready to serve. (Or cover and refrigerate and reheat gently when ready to serve.)

  • 7

    When ready to serve, warm the tortillas on the grill and wrap in foil or a kitchen towel to keep warm for serving.

  • 8

    Serve the barbacoa in the tortillas topped with diced white onion, cilantro, lime, and cotija cheese. Enjoy!

My Notes


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