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What do you do with a big bowl of quite moreish Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa, leftover from a roll your own burrito dinner the night before?

You make a sandwich, of course.

Recipe for Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa, modified from original recipe for Tex Mex Barbacoa, Slow Cooker Style.

Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa

The original recipe cooked the dish in a slow cooker, which I have made in the past and works quite well, but it does take some planning, as it has to cook on the high setting for about 6-8 hours until quite tender…  For this recipe, I chucked everything into a pressure cooker for about 1 hour.


2.75 Kg Beef Cheek Meat

2 teaspoons Sea Salt

2 teaspoons Pepper, freshly ground

1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds, toasted and freshly ground

1 Tablespoon Mexican Oregano

8 cloves Garlic

1 whole Bay Leaf

2 whole Limes, juiced

1 cup homemade Beef Stock or good quality, low salt prepared beef broth


Rinse cheek meat and cut away as much fat and visible silverskin as possible. Cut into 5cm cubes.   Place cheek meat into a large mixing bowl and season well with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Remove the skins and hard end from the garlic cloves and throw them in whole.  Mix the spices and meat together until the meat is evenly coated.  Add meat mixture to pressure cooker.

Add the bay leaf and squeeze the juice of the limes over all. Add the beef stock + 1 cup of water, stir, cover pressure cooker.  Cook over high heat until steam is visible from the vent.  Place steam cap over vent and continue to heat until steam vent toggles regularly.  Turn heat down and cook for one hour (make sure steam vent continues to toggle).

Allow pressure cooker to cool until steam lock opens.  Remove meat with a slotted spoon and reserve.  Pour remaining liquid into a clean, medium sized saucepan and heat over a medium high heat until the liquid is reduced until quite thick.  Remove from heat and pour reduced sauce over reserved meat.  Mix  meat and sauce together and serve.