Texas Favorite......From Long Time Ago

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 7, 2007
Brighton, MI
Cousin did this along time ago. Said it's not bad.....

Calf's Head

Dig a hole 18 inches deep and wide enough to fit a calf's head, allowing for enough space for a good layer of coals. Build a big fire in hole and burn down to coals.

When head is cut off slaughtered calf, leave enough skin to wrap or fold over neck opening. Wrap head in wet burlap sack. Put heavy wire securely around head--- strong enough to lift cooked head from hole.

Shovel some coals out of hole, leaving a good layer on the bottom. Place head in hole. Shovel live coals all around head and on top, then a layer of ashes on the top, followed by a good layer of dirt so that it is completely sealed off and no air can get in.

Cook 12 hrs. Remove from hole by wire. Remove sack and skin and it's ready to enjoy. All parts are there, cooked to perfection!

(Still wont try it)
I have an ex-girlfriend whose father used to cook up tons of meat every new year using that method. I never recall any animal, "heads" being thrown in though. The meat however was always delicious!
Thanks for the heads-up! Let's say we did, but don't.
I ain't eatin' anything that's lookin' back at me... no sirree!
I think I recall celebrity chef Rick Bayless saying that the word "barbacoa" originated in Mexico and it originally referred to roasting the head of a cow or bull in the same way. I'm told that some of the cheek meat can be very tender and tasty. I'd probably give it a try - I'm not so sure I'd have the stomach to prepare it though!
I live in Texas, and this is pretty common with the Hispanic community. My buddy's parents are from Mexico and I have been over a couple of times for this.

It is called barbacoa, and the cheek meat is great as tacos. Only problem is when you bite down on a tooth cause someone had a few too many beers and didn't get all the bones out.

I have been told that the eyeballs are the best, but that is where they lost me!!!

You guys are a bunch of "NANCY'S"!!! Has anyone had chitlins? Does that not turn your stomach?

Kids have 2 calves that I'd LOVE to cut the head off and cook!

I'll bet anything it isn't as bad as it sounds.

Eyelids are good on ritz crackers.

I've never heard of it. Doesn't sound too good neither. I have some mezkin friends that cook pig in the ground similar to that method. Ive eatin some pretty weird stuff over there. Never any cow head though.
My Grandpa _Mamas Dad) used to cook calves heads in a similar fashion. I was just about 4 when he past on but remember it well. I do recall the bumpy parts were excelent (brains I think) but I can imagine doing it myself at this point. Funny how wasteful we have become. The old folks used everything and we throw out a great deal.
yes we have become a little wasteful these days...

my parents still make headcheese the old fashioned way
my brother loves the stuff and i still cant stomach it......now-a-days commercial headcheese is not even made from real heads anymore, something with the FDA and the heads...
Can't say I wouldn't taste it ,cause I would .....BUT .... there's just too much out there just waitin to be cooked ,,,,brisket,shoulders ,prime-ribs ,tenderloin,,,and of course T-BONES
I with T-bone on this one ... I'm just not poor enough to go there .... however, I remember growing up after dad packed up and left, buying chicken wings 'cause they were cheap, then the rich folks found out how good they are and well ... you know ... the rest is history!
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts