Authentic Tex Mex flavors starts with authentic foods. This barbacoa chili uses cachete de res, real beef cheek meat, for the base. The result is a thick, hearty, chili that is full of deliciousness.
Living in Texas has given me a whole new love of different foods. Sure, there is common comfort foods like biscuits, bread, pasta, and such. But, true Mexican food is now one of our top “go tos” when we want warm, comforting, delicious foods.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of authentic foods in the Midwest, too. There were plenty of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas to be found. Finding some of the ingredients were a bit more difficult, but if you looked, you could find them.
However, finding the ingredients for authentic barbacoa are available in any local grocery store here. Cachete de res is the base for this barbacoa chili.
What is cachete de res?
Translated directly its beef cheek meat. This cut of meat is from the “chewers” on the cow that have plenty of fat and loads of flavor. It is prepared most commonly by steaming it for several hours to produce a tender meat that is shredded easily with a fork.
Cachete de res, or barbacoa, can be found in tacos, burritos, or even chili. Sunday mornings, you’ll find it on many tables for breakfast with a cold Big Red as well. (that’s a local pop that is a super sweet red cream soda)
I think you’ll love this authentic barbacoa chili. It’s one of our favorite barbacoa recipes.
Ingredients you need:
- Beef cheek meat
- Pinto beans
- Beef broth
- Chili powder
- Limes (optional)
- Cilantro (optional)
Making your chili with barbacoa beef:
- Begin by steaming your barbacoa meat in your slow cooker. Drain off any fat as desired.
- Prepare pinto beans by using the quick soak method.
- Add steamed beef, quick soaked beans to crockpot.
- Stir in remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
- Top with limes for squeezing into chili and cilantro as desired.
What do I do if I can’t find the beef cheek meat?
You CAN substitute the beef cheeks with a chuck roast, cooked in the crockpot and shredded if you can’t find them. The flavor will be a bit different, but still very delicious.
Can I make this without beans?
NO! Absolutely not! Just kidding, of course you can make it without beans if you prefer a beanless chili. You can also substitute red beans, black beans, or any other bean as you desire.
Can I freeze this barbacoa chili?
Yes, you can. It freezes very well for longer storage. This chili will also remain good in the fridge for up to 3 days. I am working on a canning recipe for this, and hope to have that for you soon.
What to serve with this chili:
Other Recipes You’ll Love:
- 2-3 pounds beef cheek meat
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- 2 14.5 ounce canned tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Limes (optional)
- Cilantro (optional)
Begin by steaming your barbacoa meat in your slow cooker.
Remove the meat from the package, and drain any liquid.
Lay out several layers of foil and place meat in the middle.
Wrap up like a present, securing all areas.
In your crock pot, add a trivet, or heat safe bowls to keep the foil packet out of the water directly.
Place the wrapped meat on the trivet or bowls. Add water underneath.
Cook in slow cooker. Remove carefully and shred with forks.
Prepare pinto beans by using the quick soak method.
Rinse your beans, and be sure to remove any bad ones, stones, ect.
Place beans in a large pot, and cover with cold water by 3 inches.
Bring to a boil, boil for several minutes, remove from heat, cover and set timer.
Drain your beans once done, and add to recipe
Stir in remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
Top with limes for squeezing into chili and cilantro as desired.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 731Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 161mgSodium 989mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 10gSugar 3gProtein 62g
I do my best to make sure these numbers are accurate, however, please be your own best advocate and double check!