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Mariah Cooks: Torchy’s Democrat Barbacoa Taco Copy Recipe

Barbacoa Taco Recipe

So this year I promised to post some recipes and other Dagupion Family goings on to make this blog not just based on photography. I LOVE to cook. It’s really developed over the years (when I first married Peter I could cook up a mean pot of Rice-A-Roni!).

When we lived in Austin, we discovered a place called Torchy’s. Torchy’s is the bomb dot com. Our favorite taco on the planet is called the Democrat. It’s barbacoa on a tortilla with queso fresco, cilantro, and lime. When we moved back home to Maui, I literally begged Torchy’s for their recipe, but alas, I had to come up with my own. This is the real stuff. None of that Tex-Mex stuff (because *gasp* I hate Tex-Mex! please no hate mail!). Now for this to be the real thing, you need beef cheek. It’s not a common cut. Your butcher can get it for you or you can get it at uswellnessmeats.com. You can use a regular roast too, but I promise the beef cheek makes the difference!

Barbacoa Taco Recipe

What you’ll need for the toppings:

Queso Fresco
Cut Cilantro
Lime
Avocado – sliced
Organic Corn Tortillas

For the Barbacoa:

1/8C. Apple Cider Vinegar
1.5 Tsp. Garlic
1.5 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Crushed Cloves
1/3 C. Chicken Broth
Half a Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce (this is from a can. I separate them into separate baggies and keep in the freezer)
1 Pound Beef Cheek

The Method:

Pan fry beef cheek in oil of choice (I use coconut oil) to brown the outsides. While it’s cooking, combine all the ingredients, except for Bay Leaf, into blender and blend until smooth. Add the beef cheek to the crock pot, place the Bay Leaf on top, and pour blended “adobo” onto the beef cheek. Cook on low for a good 8 hours. Shred when done.

I have found that this is best when prepared one day ahead. It is great after cooking, but if you let it rest in the fridge until the next day, the flavors are AMAZING. Top with your favorite toppings on an organic corn tortilla.

ENJOY!! I hope you’ve loved this – please feel free to share the recipe with your friends and family – and buy organic/local whenever possible!

If you happen to be heading to Hawaii for a Maui Vacation, I’d love you to say hi!

Mariah Milan's copycat recipe for Torchy's Tacos Democrat Barbacoa Tacos
  1. Momof Mead says:

    I can't wait to try to make this. Just gotta find Beef Cheek. But I love the Democrat at Torchy's

  2. That is WAY too complicated. Beef cheek at any HEB east of mopac. Wrap tightly in foil w a bit of salt. Oven at low temp for several hours. Done.

  3. Elaine Norris Goolsbey says:

    I can’t wait to try to make this. Just gotta find Beef Cheek. But I love the Democrat at Torchy’s

  4. I visited my son [ Maui boy] in Austin a month ago and first experienced barbacoa at Habaneros in South Austin then ate the Democrat at Torchys. Yowee, so now I,m googling for recipes and came across your post of Torchys recipe. Mahalo for posting this.

  5. Stephen Gambone says:

    I visited my son [ Maui boy] in Austin a month ago and first experienced barbacoa at Habaneros in South Austin then ate the Democrat at Torchys. Yowee, so now I,m googling for recipes and came across your post of Torchys recipe. Mahalo for posting this.

  6. You're welcome! It comes out so good!

  7. Joe de la Fuente Just salt will still taste good but not quite the same without all the other spices. 🙂

  8. Frank Jones says:

    Bless you for this, milady. I'm in Ft Worth, and I can still get the tacos at Torchy's, but I'd love to make 'em at home.

  9. Frank Jones says:

    Bless you for this, milady. I’m in Ft Worth, and I can still get the tacos at Torchy’s, but I’d love to make ’em at home.

  10. ???? ????? says:

    Your recipe has been featured on my blog! Check it out here & thanks for the awesome recipe!
    http://razangazabby.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/bite-into-houston-torchys-tacos/

  11. Razan Muhtaseb says:

    Your recipe has been featured on my blog! Check it out here & thanks for the awesome recipe!
    http://razangazabby.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/bite-into-houston-torchys-tacos/

  12. I am driving back to Phoenix after my first trip to Austin where I had a Democrat 4 times in 2 days because it's the best thing in the world!! I love you for posting this!!! ????

  13. Shauna Causeymoto says:

    I am driving back to Phoenix after my first trip to Austin where I had a Democrat 4 times in 2 days because it’s the best thing in the world!! I love you for posting this!!! ????

  14. […] Torchy’s barbacoa taco (The Democrat) This is my personal favorite taco at Torchy’s and judging by the many efforts by others to duplicate the recipe, it’s a hit among others as well. […]

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