Today is the launch of something new here at “A Jeanne in the Kitchen”. Today is the first of hopefully many more segments to come, of having a guest chef in Jeanne’s kitchen. Our first guest chef is a very good friend of mine, Scott Hensiek. Scott and I go way, way, way back, all the way to our junior high school days.
This is us in front of our old high school in Pasadena, CA.
Scott loves to cook and have fun in the kitchen just as much as I do. He is also a fabulous cook. One of his specialties is using his smoker to cook his meats. Today, Scott shares his recipe for his Barbacoa Street Tacos.
Barbacoa ([barβaˈkoa] (help·info)) is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term “barbecue” derives. In contemporary Mexico, it generally refers to meats or whole sheep or whole goats slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with maguey leaves, although the interpretation is loose, and in the present day (and in some cases) may refer to meat steamed until tender. This meat is known for its high fat content and strong flavor, often accompanied with onions and cilantro. Barbacoa was later adopted into the cuisine of the southwestern United States by way of Texas. The word transformed in time to “barbecue”, as well as many other words related to ranching and Tex-Mex cowboy or vaquero life. Considered a specialty meat, barbacoa is only sold on weekends or holidays in certain parts of South Texas and in all of Mexico. Barbacoa is also popular in Florida, as many Mexican immigrants living there have introduced this dish. Barbacoa is also well known in Honduras. A traditional Mexican way of eating barbacoa is having it served on warm corn tortillas with salsa for added flavor; the tacos are often eaten with diced onions, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. I was introduced to this particular way of cooking Barbacoa by my brother. This recipe is adapted to the Pit Barrel Cooker and is finished in the oven once the smoke is applied during a 2 hour hang in the Pit. Once the Chuck Roast is finished in the oven it is shredded directly into the vegetable and spice mix. This allows for a moist and flavorful shredded beef. I serve it on corn tortillas with a Chipotle Slaw, Guacamole and Cotija Cheese. Serve with your favorite sides. Pinto beans, black beans Mexican rice or Mexican street corn. You won’t NOT make this again.
Getting the smoker ready for the meat.
As the smoker is getting nice and hot, Scott starts to prepare his meat. Once the coals get white hot, it is time to place the meat on the grill.
Heavily season chuck roast with salt and pepper and cook on smoker at 225 until an internal temp of 165 is reached.
Since Scott has more than a little time to relax while the meat is smoking, it was time for a smoke break for him as well.
While the roast is cooking, mix the other ingredients together in a 13×9 or similar aluminum or oven safe pan. Once the roast hits 165º, place into pan directly on top of other ingredient mixture and cover tightly with foil. Cook in smoker or oven at 350º for 2.5-3 hrs or until roast is fork tender.
Scott is cutting the limes, garlic and onions to use as his marinade for the meat. WOW!!!! This is one very nice chef’s knife. This knife is much nicer than mine. Scott means business.
Cooking all those fragrant and tasty flavors to use for the marinade for the meat.
Once the meat is tender, shred all of the meat in the liquid and mix thoroughly. If more liquid is needed to give the meat a good coating, add 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water. Place it back into oven and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes until most all liquid has cooked into the meat.
When everything is done, layer the meat onto either corn or flour tortillas along with some chipotle slaw and some cotija cheese. It’s now ready to enjoy with a cold margarita or beverage of your choice.
Recipe for the Barbicoa
3 lbs chuck roast (fat trimmed)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chiptoles in adobo sauce, chopped (or more to taste)
1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
2 teaspoons salt (plus additional to season roast)
1 teaspoon black pepper (plus additional to season roast)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup beef broth or water
Heavily season chuck roast with salt and pepper and cook on smoker at 225 until an internal temp of 165 is reached While roast is cooking, mix the other ingredients together in a 13×9 or similar aluminum or oven safe pan. Once the roast hits 165º, place into pan directly on top of other ingredient mixture and cover tightly with foil. Cook in smoker or oven at 350º for 2.5-3hrs or until roast is fork tender. Once meat is tender, shred all of the meat in the liquid and mix thoroughly. If more liquid is needed to give the meat a good coating, add 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water. Place back into oven and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes until most all liquid has cooked into the meat.
2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotles in adobo
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 pound (about 2 cups) shredded white cabbage
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin
1 cup corn
1 TBSP cumin
Combine chipotle, mayonaise, honey and lime juice in a large bowl. Add cabbage and onions, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Scott, thank you so much for the absolutely fabulous recipe and all the fun pictures. Thank you for being my first guest Chef too. One of these days, we will actually cook together side by side. Just think of all the possibilities. 🙂