Barbacoa question

Joined Aug 1, 2010
It is my daughters birthday on Saturday and we are throwing a party for about 30 people.  I was thinking of slow cooking barbacoa.  The recipe I have says to cook it for 6 hours, and leave an hour to shred (7-71/2) hours total.  Can I cook this the day before, then reheat  in the crockpot the day of?  Or will this make the meat tough?

Here is the recipe I have.  I am going to double it, and omit the jalapeno because there will be little kids eating this :

Yield: Makes about 10 cups
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  • 1  pound  onions, peeled and diced
  • 1  pound  firm-ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 4  cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3  ounces  fresh jalapeño chilies (about 4 total), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and quartered lengthwise
  • 2  dried bay leaves
  • 1  cup  fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  lime juice
  • 2  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  dried thyme
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  dried Mexican or regular oregano
  • About 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  coarse-ground pepper
  • 1  boned, tied beef chuck or boned pork shoulder or butt (4 to 5 lb.)
end class="rcpdetail" [h2]Preparation[/h2]
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.

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.

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.

Also, any suggestions you have to improve the dish would be most appreciated!


Joined Feb 13, 2008

Is it actually possible to overcook barbacoa? 

You may certainly hold cold, than reheat in the crockpot.  Just don't don't defat it too completely when you're sieving stuff out, and degreasing. 

I could say don't throw too much heat at it when you're reheating, but the crockpot pretty much takes care of that.  Go on low. 

The crockpot might be better than the oven for the first part, too.  The slower the meat cooks, the better the lipids cling to it when it's shredded, and the moister and more luxurious the mouthfeel.

Despacio, querida mia. Despacio.

Me.  I like my barbacoa de chivo.  That's why they invented Sundays.

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