Saturday, December 26, 2009

Guanajuato, Mexico -- The Head of the Cow

Cabeza de Rez is 'the head of the cow'. This has particular significance to me because I wrote of this very thing some years ago when speculating just how the head of the cow is served at a meal and how exactly does one eat it?

"Pass a piece of cheek, please", I pondered in one or more articles when we first moved here. Or does one ask for a little nostril, the left or right one? Perhaps a nice chunk of ear or a little forehead?

I just didn't know then what one does when invited to a lovely Mexican's home and Cabeza de Rez is being served?

Would it be paraded out in a huge roast pan with the horns and eyeballs attached?

Would it be roasting in a pit in the back yard where it was butchered?

Would it have a name? Did they have personal relationship with it?

How did it work, I just could not guess.

Well...after seven years of living in Guanajuato, Mexico it finally happened. We were invited to a home cooked dinner of The Head of a Cow or Cabeza de Rez.

This is not a dish to be treated lightly. Nor is it a super-common meal. It is "company vittles" that is so special that it is usually served for a special occasion.

Several couples in our church, my wife and I included, had anniversaries this month. My wife and I are celebrating our 27th today, the 26th of December. So, a lovely family at our church decided to have a wingding of Cabeza de Res.

Let me say this this was absolutely delicious! The woman of the house, La Reina de la Cocina, (the queen of the kitchen), had to cook this for more than four hours. She had the butcher cut up the head muscles--no nostrils--into small bite-sized portions and it looked like barbecue meat and some of the most tender meat I have ever had in my life.

She served it with freshly made corn tortillas, lots and lots of avocado sauces, one deathly spicy and the other not, and some red salsa that was not too badly spicy.

A pot pot of beans was there which topped off the meal just fine, if you want to ask me.

I thought that this would have been even a little more tasty with some good old KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce but it was fine eating out of a hand held corn tortilla, which you should know is what Mexicans call a taco.

So, to say the least, I was surprised. The tongue was noticeably bumpy from it taste buds, but it blended right in with all the other parts of the head.

I loved it. I never once thought of puking. And, I would highly recommend that if you have the chance you try a little Head of the Cow or La Cabesa de Res!


Check out my newest book A WALK THROUGH MEXICO'S CROWN JEWEL: A Guanajuato Travelogue.

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