Our own Antonia Mejia took a moment to share her recipe for authentic barbacoa. Otherwise know as a barbecue pit, the barbacoa dish has been in the Mejia family for generations.
If you're interested in trying out this dish, here's everything you need:
- Three turkeys
- Sauce of your choice. (E.g. BBQ, hot sauce, seasoning)
- Firewood- plenty of it
- Large agave leaves
- Water about 3 gallons
Dig a hole/pit, depending on how much meat you want to cook. The more meat you cook, the bigger hole you need to dig. For three full-size frozen turkeys, we made a pit 3-feet-wide and about 4-feet-deep.
Next, make a fire inside the hole and let it sit for about eight hours. This is like pre-heating an oven. After about eight hours, remove the fire and leave the coals.
Afterwards, place a large pot of water over the coals. This has to be a very large pot, big enough to fit about three gallons of water.
Then place a rack over the pot. The rack is where the turkeys will be placed.
While the fire is burning in the hole to preheat it, you will need to get about 30 large agave leaves. Trim the thorns off and cook each side in a fire for about five minutes so they become soft and are not as stiff.
When the agave leaves are cooked and cooled, lay them inside and around the hole. Watching the video will help understand how they are placed.
Set all three thawed turkeys on the rack. If you want to season them with a sauce of your choice, this is the moment to do it.
Once that is finished, cover the turkeys with the pre-cooked agave leaves. Then cover the agave leaves with a steel top. Finally, cover the steel top with the dirt from the hole that was made and build a fire over the dirt.
The meat will slow cook for about 12 hours, so the best time to start the cooking is during evening hours so the meat cooks overnight.
Check the fire periodically throughout the night.
In the morning, remove the fire, uncover the lid and agave leaves and check the meat.
It should be cooked and ready to serve fresh out of the hole.