Definition of barbacoa in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbärbəˌkōə/ /ˈbɑrbəˌkoʊə/


  • (in Mexican cooking) beef, lamb, or other meat that has been slowly cooked with seasonings, typically shredded as a filling in tacos, burritos, etc.

    ‘a burrito stuffed with barbacoa’
    • ‘The hanger steak barbacoa, served in parchment paper tied up like a beggar's purse, was also strongly suggestive of Indian cuisine.’
    • ‘There was a disagreement among the crew as to how to cook the barbacoa.’
    • ‘In the Rio Grande Valley, barbacoa de cabeza is traditionally eaten on Sunday mornings.’
    • ‘They said barbacoa is best when the meat is carefully wrapped up in banana leaves.’
    • ‘The only issue is whether the goat, or chivo in Mexican Spanish, is to be prepared in a birria or as a barbacoa.’
    • ‘Best of all was a classic Mexican barbacoa, composed of spicy lamb shoulder steamed to a kind of savory tenderness in banana and avocado leaves and served with a little pile of corn tortillas.’
    • ‘The barbacoa was served on the soft corn tortillas.’
    • ‘Banana leaves impart a superior, more traditional flavor to the barbacoa.’
    • ‘If you want to try barbacoa de cabeza at home, try wrapping the cabeza in foil and baking it in an oven or over a charcoal grill.’
    • ‘The Vegetarian is almost as bad as the Barbacoa Burrito, with 1,120 calories, 2,870 mg of sodium, and 15 grams of sat fat.’


Mexican Spanish use of Spanish barbacoa ‘barbecue’ (see barbecue); in Mexican Spanish barbacoa can also refer to an underground oven in which meat is cooked slowly.