Beef Barbacoa | Slow Cooked And Delicious

I have adapted this recipe for Beef Barbacoa from Inger who blogs over at The Art Of Natural Living. It is so good that I have made it more than once. Served on a bed of curried carrot mash, this made for a great meal.

Beef Barbacoa On A Bed Of Curried Carrot Mash
Beef Barbacoa On A Bed Of Curried Carrot Mash
Head straight on to the Recipe For ♥ Beef Barbacoa ♥

The unemployment rate in South Africa is 32.5%. This translates to 7.2 million people without jobs. And the knock on effect is probably more than four times that in terms of food insecurity. During our lockdown period we have done the utmost to keep our domestic staff employed. Without any Government assistance I paid my maid in full for the two months she did not work last year. I am quite sure that the same could not be said for everyone. And a lot of people who retained domestic help have cut their days. My friend put on Facebook that her maid was looking for work. As we need someone at the office we employed her. The job is undemanding, to say the least. It entails washing the dishes we have used, and cleaning our office. As well as seeing to the bathrooms and the workshops.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Beef Barbacoa ♥ #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet

She was employed on a no work no pay basis, which is the norm for casual labour in South Africa. And she was paid 43% above the minimum wage. As Easter Friday meant she could not work, I offered her the opportunity to work on the Wednesday and still earn some money. But at the end of April she told me that she had been short paid as there was no payment for Good Friday. She would not, or could not, understand that she had been paid in March for the day worked, and thought she deserved to be paid for the public holiday as it was not her fault she could not work. My reply was if she was not happy she could go home. And she did! Giving up a days’ work each week for one day’s pay she was not due.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Beef Barbacoa

Recipe Category: Meat


  • 30 mls olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 mls ground cumin
  • 1.25 mls smoked paprika
  • 0.625 mls cayenne pepper
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 600 g stewing beef, cubed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 45 mls tomato paste
  • 60 mls lime juice
  • 30 mls apple cider vinegar
  • 180 mls beef stock
  • 15 mls dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Heat 15mls oil in an oven proof and stove top proof lidded casserole pot over a medium temperature on your stove
  • Add the onions and sauté until soft
  • Then add the garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne and cloves and stir to combine
  • Cook until you can smell the spices then remove and set aside
  • Increase the temperature slightly then add the rest of the oil
  • When hot, brown the beef in batches, seasoning as you turn it
  • Once browned, set aside, until all done
  • Deglaze the pot with the tomato paste, add the lime juice and vinegar and stir to combine
  • Add the onions, beef and pan juices back into the pot together with the stock, oregano and bay leaves
  • Stir and leave to simmer while you preheat the oven to 150° Celsius
  • When the oven is hot, place the lid on the pot and put the pot into the oven for 4 hours
  • Remove the pot from the oven, shred the beef and serve
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime May 31:

Do you pay casual staff for public holidays or days not worked?

Top of Page