Barbacoa: the Texan and Mexican delicacy that made Elizabeth Taylor faint into the arms of Rock Hudson; the food that gave barbecue its name ("barbecue" is the English word for barbacoa); the meat treat that has been traditionally prepared in in-ground brick-lined pits wrapped in maguey, burlap, or heavy-duty aluminum foil; the dish that Texas Monthly’s food critic declared was not barbecue.
It’s a treasured food that requires patience to cook and inspires patience to buy. People line up first thing to get their weekend supply of meat at their favorite barbacoa spot, often the place their family has patronized for generations. In Texas, it’s usually made from cheek or whole beef head. But it can be made with anything: rabbit, turkey, goat, whatever. If you're craving it in the Dallas area, start with these essentials, in no particular order.