cow head drawingHey, I don't want to freak you out but I'm incredibly hungover and that means I want barbacoa. If you think I'm just saying bar-b-que in Spanish then wipe that aren't I clever smirk off your face. I'm talking about cabeza. Cabeza de vaca.

If you want to learn about real barbacoa, and you might not, Wikipedia provides a decent primer. Basically, you smoke a cow head untill all the cheek meet and head flesh is tender and falling off the bone. I was barely able to read it without running out the door to decapitate a cow.
barbacoa in the oven cow beef cabezaInstead I'm stuck obsessively googling barbacoa (did I mention being very very hungover? I must have listened to Rain Dogs seven times last night) and I've suddenly fallen in love with this bad ass woman in New York City who smoked her own cowhead in July of last year. She's posted her experience on the lovely Home Sick Texan cooking blog and that's a photo of her barbacoa-in-the-oven-contraption on your left. I would love to do that though I'd rather go traditional and cook it in the ground. Still, the idea of pulling off any kind of barbacoa in NYC gives me a little PQ. Onward through the google results...

Are you an underachieving uninteresting spineless follower who thinks this all sounds gross? Try this recipe for "barbacoa" cooked in a crockpot using chuck or rump roast. More like garbage-bacoa.
barbacoa de rez cabeza
This guy does it right, though not in the ground, using a real cow head (the pictures are gruesomely tasty). Plus he gets bonus points for mixing in the brain, eyes, and tongue. I'm not sure I could go that far, but I'd be willing to try. I'd probably make one mix without BET and one with BET.
veras backyard barbque brownsville texasAnd then there's Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville, Texas, a restaurant where they still cook cabeza de vaca in an underground mesquite wood pit. Until I can get out to the country with a shovel and a cow's head, I'll have to settle for a trip to Vera's next time I'm in the valley.

In closing, I'd like to share Georgie Dann singing "La Barbacoa." I've taken the liberty of translating the lyrics below the video. Granted they're not talking about smoking a cow head but you can bet I'll be listening to this when I finally do the deed.

Georgie Dann, "La Barbacoa"
Translation by Edward Genny

Este Domingo con todos los amigos
nos vamos para el campo a comer la barbacoa.
Y nos reunimos con un montón de gente
hacemos nuestro ambiente y una linda barbacoa.

(This Sunday with all my friends
we're heading to the country to eat bar-b-que.
And we’ll gather with a lot of people
To have a beautiful bar-b-que.)

Nos llevamos muchas cosas,
las bebidas, las gaseosas. La salsita, las costillas,
buena carne en la parrilla el carbón y el chuletón.

(We bring a bunch of stuff:
drinks, soda pop, the salsa, the ribs,
Good meat on the grill, the charcoal and the lamb chop.)

La barbacoa, la barbacoa.
Como me gusta la "Barbekiú".

(The barbque, the barbeque.
I like the barbeque [pronounced as in English].)

Que ricos los chorizos parrilleros.
Que ricas las salchichas a la brasa.
Que buenas las chuletas de cordero.
Que bueno es este vino de garrafa.

(How rich the pit-smoked sausage!
How rich the little smokies in BBQ sauce!
Damn those lamb chops are good!
Damn this carafe of wine is good!)

Voy echando leña al fuego y siguiendo con el juego.
Cuando quieren darse cuenta las parejas se calientan
y no pueden esperar.

(I’m gonna throw another log on the fire and continue with the merriment.
 When everybody realizes the grills are hot,
they won’t be able to wait!)

A mí me gusta la carne que está tierna
muslitos y pechuga y hacerlos vuelta y vuelta.
Mientras los otros que comen que da miedo
disfrutan como locos chupándose los dedos.

(Me, I like the meat that’s tender:
thighs and breasts, turning round and around,
while the others eat the scarier stuff.
Those nuts love to lick their fingers)

La vecina que es muy mona
toma el Sol en la tumbona.
Yo les hago algo sencillo
pero quiere el solomillo
que le gusta mucho más.

(The neighbor is very cute, sunbathing in her deck chair.
I would make a pass at her
but she’s got some sirloin
that she’s much more interested in)


  1. Barbeque tastes good with the right mix of marinade blend.

  2. The barbacoa video sounds so good and its so fun too , Does anybody know where this song come from , If i am not wrong i think from argentina ? Someone.

  3. The barbacoa come from mexico , You can find more details at the wikipedia.


Related Posts with Thumbnails