Barbacoa Adobada(Adobo Beef Barbacoa)

This low and low adobo beef barbacoa wrapped in banana leaves is a homecook's version. My family came from the northern part of Mexico, where beef cheek or head is popular. In many regions of Mexico they prefer lamb or goat.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Author Sonia



  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth or water
  • 8-10 6-7 sections of prepared banana leaves
  • 1 large sweet onion sliced into rings
  • oil grapeseed oil or canola
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef cheek meat
  • 1 1/2 Cup adobo sauce see link below

You Will Also Need

  • 1/2 Red onion sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro chopped
  • 3 Serranos sliced thin
  • Lime wedges
  • Red Taqueria-Style Salsa see link below
  • Red Chile Infused Corn Tortillas see link below



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To the bottom of the oven proof pot add 2 1/2 cups of beef broth or water. Layer the prepared banana leaves in a criss cross pattern. Make sure they are long enough sections so it will cover the beef. The sections shouls be at least 12X16 inches

  3. Add the sliced onions next. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Seasonthe beef lightly with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared pot.
  5. Pour the adobo sauce evenly over the top of beef, making sure it's covered on all sides. Add some avocado leaves on top. Fold the banana leaves in so the cover the beef completely.
  6. Cover pot tightly with heavy aluminum foil paper, then cover with lid. Place in oven and roast for 3 1/2 -4 hours or until barbacoa pulls apart easily with fork. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa and fresh garnishes.

Recipe Notes

Beef chuck roast or brisket will work for this recipe as well.