Barbacoa Using Cacheta de Res

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In honor of National Hispanic Month, I decided to make Barbacoa.   When I googled some Barbacoa recipes, I noticed that almost of them used butt roast but that isn’t how we make it.   We use Cacheta de Res, aka, Beef Cheeks and this is the only way I’ve known how to make it.  And in actuality, we make Barbacoa de Cabeza (a cow head) and make barbacoa out of that but for this, we are just using the beef cheeks.

Before I get to the very easy barbacoa recipe, I thought I’d share with you a tidbit about us.  My real dad’s side of the family is Mexican, which makes me half.   My husband and his family is Spanish.  They all speak Spanish, sing Spanish, and often talk in Spanish when together.  My kids who very much look white, call themselves Hispanic because that’s what they are and how we live.   I’ve always considered myself Mexican because 1) you’re supposed to go by your Dad and 2) I just feel it.

We cook Mexican food all the time with homemade tortillas being a staple around here.  We haven’t had homemade barbacoa in a long time so I thought the timing was perfect for it.  One of the things I love about our Walmart is that I can find those unique cuts that I need, in this case, cacheta de res (beef cheeks).  They also carry other parts of the beef head like tongue which we would have also put in this but they were sold out.

Barbacoa is probably one of the easiest foods to make.  While many might dress it up, we prefer an original, plain version.

Recipe: Authentic Barbacoa Using Cacheta de Res


  • 6lbs of Cacheta de Res (Beef Cheeks)
  • Handful of Comino
  • Handful of Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 32oz Beef Broth
  • Water to Cover


  1. Pour your broth, salt, pepper, and comino into your slow cooker.
  2.  Add your cacheta de res and cover with water.
  3. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  4. When done, shred with forks and serve with rice, beans, and homemade tortillas.  I also recommend you top with fresh cilantro and onion!


You could also add lengua de res (beef tongue) if you wanted.


So if you want to be truly Authentic with this, buy a cow head and cook it in the ground, shred all the cheeks, tongue, eyes, etc and you’ll have barbacoa.  We think is easier and for me, slightly more appealing than the other…….

Have you ever tried Barbacoa? 



Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Follow me and my fellow Walmart Moms as we share our experiences and ideas! Walmart has provided me with compensation in return for my time & efforts to create this post. My participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own, always have been, always will be.


  1. Yoly de Cuponeando

    Never had tried with beef cheeks (that I know of.) Neither I had thought of using the crock pot. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted on September 30, 2011
    • A Cowboy's Wife

      LOL *That I know of* that cracks me up because I’m surprised what I’ve eaten and not know it! My MIL tricked me good a few times. :)

      I use a slow cooker for so many things…it saves a lot of time and makes for an easy clean up.

      September 30, 2011
  2. Cat Davis - Food Family Finds

    First of all, I never ever would have guessed you as being Hispanic, so that’s pretty cool to know.

    Second, I’ve never tried or even heard of this dish. I’ll admit, I’ve never eaten anything close to authentic Mexican food. The closest I’ve ever come is Taco Bell.

    Last, you scared the hell out of me with “beef cheeks” and “tongue” … in fact, I wish you hadn’t told me what the cut of meat was because I could see my family loving this but I’d have to use a rump roast. Other cow parts scare me. LOL

    Posted on September 30, 2011
  3. Sunnie

    Nice red crockpot, Im getting ready to upgrade my with my Swagbucks money on Amazon. I also love using mine. I have tried barbaco at Chipotle, but Im not sure what type of beef they use. My sister likes Asians, so she makes some interesting stuff, pork belly, that has a lot of fat on it.

    Posted on October 2, 2011
  4. jules p

    I need to ask a question….is this cut of beef fatty? I know that might be a strange question. I just wanted to know if the meat has a lot of fat in it!


    Posted on October 2, 2011
    • A Cowboy's Wife

      The photos should show you how fatty it is..but yes, very fatty.

      October 2, 2011
  5. H.A. Gonzalez

    Hi, just wondering do the Spanish people call it “cacheta” because I am Mexican and we call it cachete. Thanks for the recipe.

    Posted on October 17, 2011
  6. Jennifer in Austin

    I have beef cheeks in my freezer that I didn’t know what to do with. I had no idea I could make barbacoa with it, I love that stuff thanks for the recipe.

    Posted on November 20, 2011
  7. Jordan

    Do you cover the crock pot as it cooks?

    Posted on March 18, 2012
  8. Ruby

    It’s Sunday morning…and so nice waking up to the aroma of slow cooker barbacoa!!! I always purchased beef cheeks at Walmart, too. I have a different recipe I use, but plan on trying this version next weekend. I am glad I located your blog and find it truly fascinating. Until next time, I will be enjoying a few tacos with salsa to go along with cinnamon flavored coffee, before getting ready for church. Saludos.

    Posted on October 27, 2013
  9. Julie Evans

    I just wanted to know do I cook the tongue and cheeks together and also how many pounds of tongue

    Posted on January 2, 2014


  1. My Cowboy’s Slow Cooked Beans — My Wooden Spoon™ - [...] mashed ours the other day to make refried beans to serve with our Barbacoa.  They were the best refried …
  2. Hispanic Heritage Month Articles and Resources - Stories on Latino Culture and History — ModernMami™.com - [...] Barbacoa Using Cachete de Res [...]

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