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Chipotle rubbed beef cheeks seasoned with a simple Adobo rub smoked till tender over apple wood.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE:
Barbacoa: For my barbacoa I keep it traditional with beef cheek meat. Sometimes it can be hard to find. Oftentimes its kept with with the miscellaneous cuts like marrow bones, hearts, tripe. It’s often labeled as “cheek meat” instead of barbacoa. If you cant find barbacoa any hunk of meat will do just season accordingly and adjust the cooking time.
Adobo: Adobo is an all purpose blend of garlic, spices and citrus. It’s a simple go to blend that has all your favorites in one place. My Adobo is simple just garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and a few spices.
chipotle: Chipotle in Adobo are just smoked jalapenos in a smoky tomato sauce. the jalapenos are super tender so just rubbing them into the meat will break it down.
Apple wood: For this recipe I use apple wood because I like the sweet smoke with the spicy meat. Use whatever you have on hand. Mesquite and hickory work great if you like allot of smokiness.
Apple juice: Apple juice is used during the boating. I prefer the one without added sugar. It allows for the meat to stay tender and juicy while also pairing well with the meat. Alternative liquids can also be beer, Beer adds allot more stand out flavor so make sure it’s a good tame beer. Or ginger beer, that adds a mild spice with the similar flavor to apple juice. Add enough shallow liquid to the pan but do not completely cover the meat. You just want to steam the meat.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CHIPOTLE RUBBED SMOKED BEEF CHEEKS
the meat: barbacoa can be a tough find. stick to the ends of the meat section where the scraps, markdown and odd cuts are. it’s becoming more and more popular so keep an eye out. any tough cut will do since low and slow is the goal here.
stick and rub: to get the most out of my rub i use a little glue. the glue here is the chipotle in Adobo. similar to mustard on catfish it help give the smooth surface of the meat something to stick to.
boat it: boating is a process in smoking where you wrap the meat with raised sides so that the meat stews in it’s own juices resulting in tender juicy meat. for this process we’re going to do something similar instead of wrapping in foil just toss the barbacoa in a shallow aluminum pan so that we can add a little extra liquid. cover and allow the beef to gently steam to finish off the meat to tender perfection.
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