My brother butchered a cow that died in birth. He brought over some meat but called me specifically to offer me the head. I have a bit of a history for cooking weird stuff. Barbacoa is great, and while I doubt most people make it from the actual head, it sounded like a good time to try it! They left quite a bit of the neck meat on it.
I rubbed it with oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, lime juice, onion powder, paprika. I stuffed onions and garlic into the places I could fit it into. I started it at 8am or so, and pulled it out after the sun set. I cooked it for about 6 hours before I wrapped it in foil and then put it back in for another 5-6 hours. I didn't check temps, I just pulled it when it felt pullable.
I bought fresh corn and flour tortillas from the Spanish market in town. That was my first time buying the flour ones, as I generally eat corn. They were awesome. I cut up a huge salad bowl full of cilantro and onions, a bowl of chopped jalapenos, made 4-5 kinds of salsa, cut up a half dozen limes into wedges, made a 5 gallon batch of pinto beans, and some rice.
Here are some pictures of the head as I was rinsing it before seasoning. My 3 year old niece walked up and said "You can't eat that." with concern. She then told me it was a monsters head. I concur with her assessment of the gruesome nature of the meal being prepared.
Moooooooo. My name is Daisy.
Raawrrrr... I am the evil cow god. Bow down before me.
At this point, the foil was there to keep the nose and the back of the head off of the smoker sides.
That is being smoked on a 2nd hand Brinksman electric smoker using hickory.
I looked around for recipes online before I did it, but it was slim pickings. One said to remove the tongue before cooking because it would add a weird taste. I couldn't see how that would be, so I left it in. I skinned and cubed the tongue and mixed it in with the other meats. I did not eat the eyes and brain. If you aren't going to tell anyone, just cut them up and toss them into the meat with the rest of it. The people who were watching me prepare this would of been turned off by eyes and brain.:)
The finished product after it was pulled was about 15-20lbs of awesomeness.
If you want to try barbacoa and can't get or don't want a whole head, throw a couple beef cheeks on the smoker. Faster and much more direct route. Also, no one will look at it and go OMG that is a monster's head.