I Ate Full Cow-Head Barbacoa at Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

I Ate Full Cow-Head Barbacoa at Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

Well, all this history
has got me hungry. I know, anything
makes me hungry. But this time, there’s even
some historical significance to our food stop. Some mucho delicioso history. Today, we’re having barbecue. But instead of brisket,
how about some cachete? And instead of sausage,
how about lengua? ‘Cause that’s how they
do it here at Vera’s. And here’s owner Mondo Vera. – It started back in ’55, 1955. – Okay. – So it’s the traditional
Mexican barbecue. Out on the ranches,
you don’t have ovens, you don’t have anything, and so that’s what
the ranchers do, they make a hole in the ground. They put fire on there, and then they wrap
that beef here and they put it in there, and they put other
meats in there, but that’s originally where
it came from, from Mexico. – [Chet] This is authentic
Mexican barbecue. A full cow head, as
in one cabeza de vaca. (cow moos) Cooked the authentic
way, in the ground. This is actually
kinda terrifying. It reminds me of something
from like Dante’s Inferno, like the gateway to Hades. – [Mondo] There you
go, you know it. – Argh! Wow! It’s so beautiful, I’m crying. (Mondo laughs) It’s just so beautiful. – The smoke. – I’ve never seen
anything like this. – Really, yeah? – No, never! Meat, fire, and a
hole in the ground. Barbecue doesn’t
get much simpler. But at the same
time, much harder. Which is why Mondo is very
likely the only restaurant left in the US
doing it this way. – [Mondo] Takes
about 10 to 12 hours. – [Chet] 10 to 12 hours
for the head to cook. – [Mondo] Yeah. – Thank you for keeping
this alive, ’cause this is, a lot of culinary
traditions, they’re too hard, so people just abandon them. – It’s a lot of work. – Yeah. – Yeah, but it gives
it a different taste. – Okay. And you haven’t had any
cooks fall in there yet? – Not yet. – Okay, yeah. (they laugh) – That’s what I tell my wife, they’re probably gonna
bury me there when I die. (Chet laughs) That’s, I mean, I don’t know. I’m probably gonna be
here till I die, you know. – [Chet] Lucky for us, Mondo
just pulled a fresh head out of the fire. Wow, so we’ve got
a head upside down, we’re seeing the jawbones
here, we got the teeth there. Was there a point where
you’re like, “That’s strange”? – No, I guess since
I was born into it. – Okay, yeah, right, right. It was just like,
family tradition. – Right. This is the cheek meat
right here, the cachete. – We got the cachete,
the cheek meat, and then look at this
guys, right there. – [Mondo] That’s a
lengua, a tongue. – A lengua. Ooh, it looks like it’s gotten a little crispy
around the sides. – Yeah, it’s a
little bit crispy. That’s what tastes the best. Taste that. – [Chet] Kind of the
burnt ends there. – Yeah. Now, right here, see
if I can take it out. This is the eyeball. (Chet laughs) So you just take the pupil– – [Chet] The ojo. – [Mondo] Yeah, the ojo. You take the pupil out,
’cause that’s not edible. – [Chet] Okay. – [Mondo] And that you can eat. – [Chet] You can eat
this whole thing? – You can eat that, yeah. Yeah, and that’s the first
thing that we sell out on. – [Man] Come look, Daniel. – Chet wants something to eat,
he wants to eat a whole ojo. The whole thing, Chet wants
to eat the whole thing. – Was I saying that? – [Cameraman] Yeah,
you said that. – ‘Cause I don’t
remember saying that. – [Cameraman] You told me– – [Man] He wants to eat that. – [Cameraman] The whole ojo. – You wanna eat the ojo? Let me get you a tray. – [Chet] Ooo-kay, here we go! (they laugh) – There you go. – That’s a little
ambitious for me. – [Mondo] You wanna
try some salsa? – Sure. Guys, this is my first ojo. – [Mondo] There you go. – You come down here, you’re
guaranteed to do things that you’ve never
done before in life. – Especially eat an eye. – Yeah. (laughs) That’s right. (jaunty music) Mmm, extra juicy like that. – [Mondo] There you go. – Excellent flavor. It’s got all the smoke in it. I mean, it’s very
fatty, like, whoo! That’s a first for me. – There you go. – Yes! – You’re gonna remember
me every time– – I will, every time I see– – Every time you see a cow,
you’re remember me, huh? – Every time I lock
eyes with a cow. I never knew there were this
many parts to a cow head, or that they all
tasted so different. Alright, cachete on one side– – (both) Sweetbreads
on the other. Oh, man! – Good? – That was awesome. That’s awesome. – It’s that pit back there. – Mm-hmm. – That’s where
the magic happens. We don’t put any salt, we
don’t put any stuff in there. No spices, nothing. – I mean, I got even more
respect for what you do. – There you go! – I mean, for real! You’re working with
wood, fire, and meat. – And work. – Yeah. And love, right? I mean, you gotta love this. – I love it, I mean it’s
in the blood, I love it. I got a passion for it, so. – Yeah, it clearly shows. Whoo! Hey, thank you. – You bet. – Thank you. – Have a good one. – Yeah, yeah. – [Mondo] Come back and see us! – [Chet] My first ojo. You never forget the first time. – No, you, it’s gonna be, maybe you should put
it under the pillow like the tooth fairy, you know,
maybe you’ll get something. (Chet laughs) – What’s gonna come? (Mondo laughs) I’m gonna get a skeleton cow. – There you go! – I don’t think I want that! – Something that’ll wake you up. (Chet laughs)


  1. I Loved this! โ™กโ™ก
    My Grandmother would cook a whole cow head from Fiesta ๐Ÿ‚
    and when cooking in the pot my big brother and I would sneak near the stove and pull the teeth off and then run around throwing the teeth at eat other!
    But we would not eat or touch the ๐Ÿ‘ eyes!

  2. Years ago at my sisters office (south Texas) they ordered tacos. Her coworker ordered a barbacoa taco. After they arrived and were passed out everyone heard the coworker scream. Her special treat was a sliced eyeball on her barbacoa taco.

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