Thursday, 3 May 2018

#readcookeat recipe : Barbacoa Beef (Orange Blossom Days)

Just over a year ago, I read Patricia Scanlan's Orange Blossom Days, a book that is set in Andalucia in a holiday complex, whose residents come from far and wide. It has already inspired me to try out a few exotic #readcookeat recipes, including a German dish, Tüffel Un Plum, and a hearty Spanish stew, Cocido Madrileño, but I still had a few foodie quotes jotted down in a draft blogpost to come back to. While scooting around for meal planning inspiration, I came across this one :

p453 She'd taken the girls to lunch in Tacos a Go-Go, and while they sat in one of the bright orange booths tucking into barbacoa, fries and soda, she'd said casually, 'What's this I hear about Luanne Gaynor sending nude photos to Jackson Bushman?'

Eeek, as a mother of teenage daughters, that's a conversation that I wouldn't like to have ! The food on the other hand sounds decidedly tasty so I went to investigate. It turns out that barbacoa is the word that barbecue is derived from and it is a traditional Mexican way of cooking meat (or sometimes a whole sheep) over an open fire or in a hole in the ground covered with leaves.

In the novel, they were eating a fast-food version and I managed to find a copycat recipe for Chipotle's version of Barbacoa which involves slow cooking beef with vinegar, lime juice, chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves. There are numerous other versions online though, with different combinations of spices.

Funnily enough, I discovered that I had a sachet of Argentinian Barbacoa Beef Steak Rub lurking in the back of the cupboard - I'm not sure if it came from a past Degustabox or was something that I'd picked up at the supermarket but it was definitely a handy shortcut !

As it has a medium spice rating, I had a little taste on my finger, in case it would blow the kids' heads off, but it's sweet and smoky rather than spicy. I used the contents of the whole pack and rubbed it all over the beef before putting it in the oven for an hour or so.

Typical side dishes apparently include tortillas, rice, black or pinto beans, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream but, knowing that I'd have leftovers, I decided to save that for a second meal and just served slices of the beef with salad and rice.

It created succulent, juicy beef with a lovely smoky barbecue flavour - bring on the summer !

Joining in with #readcookeat over at Chez Maximka.

Also adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up a sachet of barbacoa seasoning and also a large rib steak that has been in the freezer for ages because I didn't know what to do with it !

If I've inspired you to try some more exotic cuisine, don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index.


  1. Very tasty! And how handy to have a barbacoa sachet in your pantry! I love smoky flavours. I have finally set a new ReadCookEat linky, so please add all the recipes you posted in the last month. :)

    1. Are you sure ? I've done quite a few this month ! lol

  2. Must admit have never thought to try a bit on my finger first. I love smokey barbecue flavoring, I got some packet powder stuff from Approved Foods last month,so far only used it on chicken, I have some beef in the freezer so this may well be on the cards next week.

    1. It's a lovely summery flavour and I love anything that you can throw in the oven and forget about ! :)

  3. Margaret Clarkson
    Thank you for introducing us to this new flavour.


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