Barbacoa Chili

Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that traditionally refers to slow-cooking meat over an open fire in a hole dug in the ground. I once saw an episode of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel when Andrew Zimmern traveled to a small local village (I forget what part of the world he was in) where he dug a huge hole in the ground, started a fire in it, threw what I remember to be a deer on top of the flames, and buried it. After many hours he dug up the animal and chowed down. Barbacoa.


Contemporary barbacoa simply refers to a pile of shredded meat, slow-cooked so long that it’s almost gooey, with a deep and buttery amazing meat taste. While I wasn’t about to dig a hole in my back yard to create my barbacoa experience, I did want to give this a try! And yesterday’s rainy Chicago day was the perfect occasion. You’ll see I used kombu seaweed in this recipe. This is optional. Seaweed helps breakdown and remove some of the gaseous properties of beans making them more digestible.



I spent all morning making this chili yesterday and unfortunately did not get a chance to try it for dinner! I had to catch a flight back to Omaha to see my folks for the weekend yesterday evening. However, I left it behind for Will. And according to him the chili is “soooooo good!” I put some in the freezer before I left to save for a later date – I can’t wait to get back to Chicago to try it!

Off to a weekend of wedding planning in Omaha!

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